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3 1833 02397 6696 

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J.*-'% V ,'■*» 4" -i^ **^* '^^ 




5u t«i;G "^"ollUliCS 

FROM 15^4 TO 1783 


CitAULKs L. Van Noppkn. rublishur 



release and safety. William Butler iiaviTig received this '_"J 

conmmnication from Husband, hastened to tb.e Reg'ulator ^'^j^?'^'-'*''-"* 
camp and. tlie obiect beings accomplished, the insuri^ents re- 
tired. The danfjer being passed, on February 17th Colonel 
liinton disch.arged the Wake militia, and the other regiments 
were likewise disbanded. There was a temporary lull ; l)ut, 
ix'verthelcss, the governor and council thought it prurient 
to perfect the defences at Xew Bern, v/here another. term of 
court was to be held early in ^larch. 

Notwithstanding the remedial acts so lately passed, the 
Regulators were not at all content. They were inflamed by 
the passage of the riot act. Tlie power of governuKnt had 
ceased to be feared, and the tyrannical and bloody features 
of tliat act, instead of constraining obedience and restoring 
(juict, only >erved to arouse their indignation aiul excite 
their ire. Rednap Howell, a maker of popular ballads, 
had nioved much amon.g the people, and his rhymes 
doubtle>rS contributed largely to give them goodi heart and 
prepare them for acticMi. There were at least some forty 
of thc.< popiilar pieces, although only a few have been 
preser'/ed. They u-ere indeed well calculated to stir the dis- 
affected and warm them up to patriotic ardor. On the re- c k.,viii. 
turn of tiic Regulators from their intended expeaition to i^;. 555 
release Htisband, their purpose was announced to attend the 
Sali.^bury court, then about to be b.elk and ijii I\Iarch 6th 
some fi\'e hundred of them encamped in the woods on the 
banks of the Vadkin River, where ^\■ere the Hamiltons, 
Hunter, James Graham. Teaguc, rdllesijie and other leaders 
in commaiivl. Having arrested A\'aiglUstill Avery, a young 
lawyer of that region, they carried him to th.eir camp, and 
declared their purpose of flogging Judge ]\Ioore, and of 
killing all the clerks and lawyers. But such vaporings were 
probably only vain boastings. On the same day Colonel 
.-Mexandcr Martin and John Frohock, who had been officers 
of Rowan, and who with others were charged with having 
taken illegal foes, went to their camp and desired to know 
their designs anrl nurpixses. To them they answered that 
tliey had no intenti'^n to disturb tlie court or to injure any 
person : and tb.nt tb.e}- were armed only to defenrl thentselves 
if assaulted. On beimr informed that their late behavior to 


agreed on 


]JJ2 the jrulgcs had l)een such that no court would he held, they 

seemed trreatly concerned. A plan was then proposed fi.u' 
accommodating: matters Ijetween the people and the officers 
of Rowan against wliom they complained. The matters in 
dispute were to lie left to arbitrators, the Regulators ap- 
pointing Husband. Graham. Hunter and Thomas Person to 
act for them ; ]\Iartin and Frohock chose ^Matthew Locke, 
John Kerr. Samuel Young and James Smith on their part. 
The meeting of the arbitrators was tixed for the third Tues- 
day in May. and the settlement was to extend not only to 
the officers of Rowan County but to all those who would vol- 
imtarily join in the arbitration. The Regulators, evidently 
pleased at this proposed adjustment, gave three cheers and 
returned to their homes. Well had it been had this path to 
peace been pursued, and by this settlement out of court the 
tranquillity of the province been restored. But circumstances 
were no longer favorable to such negotiations. 


March, 1771 On ^[arch nth another special court convened at New 
c R.viii, p^ern attended bv the chief iustice and Tudces ]Moore and 
indictments Hendcrsou. The grand jury on the 15th presented the m- 
surgents as being enemies to government, and to the liberty, 
happiness and tranquillity of the inhabitants of the province. 
True bills were found against Husband, Hunter, Butler, the 
Hamiltons, James Few, Rednap Howell and many other 
leaders of the Regulators, there being thirty-one persons in- 
dicted, and the witnesses were recognized to attend on May 
nth. when the cases were to be tried. On ISIarch i8th, two 
days after the court adjournefl. the governor came into pos- 
session of a letter written by Rednap FTo^^•ell a month earlier, 
from which it appeared that he had been sent to Halifax to 
"raise the country," and that he had "animated the people to 
join the Regulati(5n," and he declared "if it once takes a start 
here it will run into the neighboring counties of Edgecombe,, Bute and Northampton." At the same time the governor 
53^-539 received a letter from the judges expressing their opinion 

that thev could not attend the superior court at Hillsboro 
on ^^arch 22d with any hope of transacting the business of 
the court, or indeed with any prospect of personal safety to 

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themselves. The governor suljinilied these matters to the 'J^ 

council, and it was agTeed with thc;ir advice t*^ raise a suf- 
ficient force to maintain order and reduce the insurg-ents to 
obedience to the laws. The courts were to be held and the 
administration of justice was not to cease. 

Fearing- the extension of the Regulation movement among The 
the inhabitants of the eastern section, an association paper ^^^""°'' 
was printed and circulated through the coumies for signa- c.r..viii. 
ture, in which those who signed it bound themselves to stand ^■*''"^'*'' 
vvith the government against the Regulators until the tran- • - 
quillity of the province should be restored ; and the governor 
at once issued orders for the militia to assemble, and called 
for volunteers and drafts to form a force that would sup- 
press the insurgents. From each county a number was c.R..viir, 
required, aggregating in all 2250 men. The governor '^^^ 
hastened to Wilmington and appointed General W'addell 
general of the forces to be raised, with directions to march 
through the western counties hy way of Salisbury to Orange, 
while he lumself witii the eastern militia would march direct 
to Hillsboro. The governor's authority for this movement wad-'eii in 
was founded on a clause of the riot act ; and he was upheld ^""""'^"^^ 
by all of the gentlemen of the east. 

Many of them at once volunteered to accompany him on . • • 
his intended expedition and none held back. Caswell was a 
colonel. Ashe a general, Harnett was particularly active, 
while John Flarvey was detained by his continued illness. 
His son, a memljer of the Assembly, was, like him. esteemed 
by the governor. On March T9th, the day Governor Tryon 
issued his orders to th.e colonels to collect their men, he en- 
closed a copy to Harvey, saying: 'Tf you . . . can pro- c. r., vm. 
cure from the counties of Pasquotank and Perquimans, with ^^ 
the assistance of Colonel Taylor, a company of fifty men, 
. . . and contrive so as they might be at Hillsboro 
the sixth day of ]\[ay. I should l)e glad to take them under 
my command. I take this op])ortunity to thank you for 
your kind present to me last winter. ... I wish your 
son could command the company." But the Albemarle sec- 
tion was so remote from the scene of disturbance and had so 
little intercourse with that part of the State that the people 
took but little interest in tlie Regulation, and in a general 

3'.6 TRVQ.VS ,iD\[IXfSTRATIOX. 1763-71 

U.J1 ^^'^y many of the inhabitants sympathized with the Regula- 

tors in th.eir distresses. Joseph Montfort. the northern 
treasurer, had no inoney of the contingent fund in hand, 
which under the riot act alone could he used to pay ]>ounties 
and the expenses of the troops, and so he did not honor the 

r i;.vii[, tjrafts mad.e l>y Governor Tr\on for hountie'^, and but few 
volunteers from the Albemarle section participated in the 

c R.. viii. The southern treasurer, John Ashe, on the other hand, not 
only paid out what pul")lic moneys he had. but issued notes 
to the amount of six thousand pounds to meet the expenses 
of the expedition : and so the same difficulty did not arise in 
embodving and moving troops from the lower counties. 

Frohock and Martin having communicated to the gover- 
nor their agreement for settlement with the insurgents, the 
arrangement was denounced by him as '"unconstitutional, dis- 
honorable to government, and introductive of a practice most 

c. R., viii. flangerous to the peace and happiness of society." Yet he 
asserted his abhorrence of the conduct of any man who was 
guilty of extortion, and declared it to be their duty to give 
satisfaction and make restitution if they had abused their 

Tryon Earlier the governor might have rejoiced at this proposed 

courts £h- '^ '^ _ _ I _ ' 

struggle settlement of differences, but to his mind the situatioii no 
longer admitted such an adjustment. The leaders of the 
Regulators had gone too far. The power of the insurgents 
to overturn government was too apparent. The day for 
temporizing had passed. The authority of the law was now 
to be asserted. While the responses of the eastern militia 
were far from general, yet a considerable force collected at 
the call of the governor. Perhaps his greatest disappoint- 
ment was the action of the Bute militia, some eight hundred 
of whom assembled, but when invited to volunteer they de- 
clined to a man. sa\ing that they favored the Regulators. 
Almost equal was the attitude of the Wake militia, although 
after some delay, with considerable eftorts. Colonel Hinton 
secured by draft fifty recruits from that county. Indeed 
throughout the territory west of ."^mithfield the great bulk of 
the inhabitants sympathized with tlie disaffected element. A 
considerable proportion of those farther west had but recently 


onnie into the provirico, were unncquainted with the laws ^^' 

and the system of gTAxrnn'.cj'it. h.a^l no association with the 
eastern people, and knew hut little of the leading men who 
iiad habitually controlled public affairs. In a word, many 
of them had so recently become inhabitants and were so un- 
settled in their new homes, and were so cut off and secluded 
in the frontier settlements that they were virtually strangers 
within the commonwealth. 

General Waddell iti his proq-rcss to the west was joined by c.r., viii, 
a detachment of the Anson militia and parts of the regiments 
of IVlecklcnburg and Tryon under their respective colonels, r.en^rai 
and some companies from Rowan. Colonel Froliock, who 
should have commanded tlie Rowan militia, was rather sar- 
castically excused from attending by Governor Tryon be- 
cause of his negotiations with the Regulators. Accom.pany- 
ing Waddell's force also was a detachment of artillery under 
Colonel Robert Schaw of Cumberland. On Mav ^th General c K.,vnr, 
Waddell with nearly tlu'ee hundrerl men crossed the Yadkin 
near Salisiniry. and went into camp on Pott's Creek. There, 
finding himself confronted by a considerable number of in- 
surgents, he halted and threw up entrenchments. On May 
loth. at a council oi war, under the advice of Colonel Ruth- 
erford and his other officers, it was resolved that it was too 
hazardous to engage the enemy, who were reported by Cap- 
tain Alexander of Mecklenburg, to extend a quarter of a 
mile, seven or eight deep, with a large body of horsemen, 
extending one hundred and twenty yards, twelve or fourteen 
deep. Nor was this formidable force the only peril that 
threatened General \\'a<Ulell, for it was apprehended that 
many of his own troops would not fight the Regulators, but 
rather, in case of a conflict, would join them. Under these c. r.,viii, 
adverse circumstances General Waddell prudently retreated 
across the Yadkin and took post near .Sal!>bury, where he 
strongly fortified himself and remaitied until May 28th. In 
the meantime lie had suffered a severe loss in the destruction 
of a supply of powder and other munitions of war that were 
being transported from. Char!e<fon for the use of the army. 
A small band of Regulators unrler the direction of Major c. R.,vin, 
James White and his brothers. William and John White, hav- Ti,eEi.ick 
ing blackened ti.eir faces, from which thcv became known as ^"^^ 


68 TRVQX'S ADMiyiSTRATIOX, 176^-71 

]]J2, the ''Black Bovs," came up with the wagons rv.idway be- 

tween Charlotte and Salislniry (near the site of the present 
town of Concord), and. JKU'ing taken possession of them, 
destroyed the blankets and hred the ammunition, making a 
tremendous explosion of the powder. Such animosity to- 
ward government was now the general feeling that per- 
vaded all that region, and General W'addell found himself 
hemmed in by forces too powerful to contend with. 

c. R.,viif, Governor Trvon was more fortunate. Leaving Xew 

S74 - .... 

Bern on April 23d. accompanied by the militia of Carteret, 
Craven and adjoining counties, and two swivel guns mounted 
on carriages, he mo\'ed toward Smithfield. where he was 
joined bv detachments from Xew Hanover. Dobb? and John- 
ston. C)n May 4th he marched to Hunter's Lodge in Wake, 
where he remained four days awaiting other detachments 
and organizing his forces. 

On the 9th he encamped on the Enoe. Accompanying him 

were volunteer detachments of horse from Bute and other 

counties, and many of the leading gentlemen of the east. 

among them Roliert Howe. Alexander Lillington. John Ashe. 

Supporters Jauies }kloore. Richard Caswell. Abner Xash. Willie Jones. 

of fryon - ...■;. 

John Harvey. Jr.. and others distinguished in the military 
and civil annals of X'orth Carolina ; while in like manner 
with General Waddell were Moses Alexander. Thomas Polk, 
Samuel Spencer. GrifiFith Rutherford, William Lindsay. 
Adlai Osborn and many in later times honored for their 
devoted patriotism. 

In the meantime, wldle the forces of the government were 
being thus collected, the disaffected inhabitants at the west 
were all astir. The leaders gave information of the points 
where they were to assemble. Every highway and byway 
was filled with men hurrying to the front. Great crowds 
passed rapidly from the extreme west through the quiet set- 
tlement of Wachovia, and the men of Anson met those of 
Surry and from the foothills of the mountains at the ren- 
Feeiing dczvous between the Haw and the Deep. So often had these 
Regulators nieu assemblcd. so often had they met and boldly made 
declaration of their purpose to right their wrongs, defying 
the power of government, that nnw with enthusiasm they re- 
sponded to the call of their leaders, and hastened to assert 


thfir manhood. They were manly men. animated by a pur- ^JJJ_ 

pose to fearlessly resist oppression, and were not to be over- 
awed by a show of power. Probably no one thought of sub- 
verting- government : no one thought of wresting the prov- 
ince from the dominion of the British Empire ; they only 
thought that they would stand up o{)eri!y and with their own 
strong hand prevent the operation of laws passed by the 
Assembly, which, under the circumstance of their situation 
and lives, they deemed unjust and found oppressive. With 
little currency among them, lawful taxes bore hard and il- 
legal taxes they would not pay ; and, smarting under the 
exactions of greedy officials, which even the governor, the 
courts and the Assembly had found to be illegal, they were 
imbued with the determination to protect themselves from 
the power of a governnient whose authorit}' sat lightly on 
them. Unawed by the reported march of the rnilitia, they 
themselves would assemble and once more assert their own 
masterv. ^Many came unarmed, and but few probably re- 
alized that there was really impending a conrlict involving 
life and death.. They gathered in force between the Havs" and 
the Deep, and learning of the governor's approach, went 
forth to meet him. Trynn, hearing of their advance, on c. r., viii, 
jNIay iTth marched from Hillsboro. crossed the Haw, and ^' 
on the night of the 13th encamped on the Great Alamance. 
There he prepared for battle. On the T3th the governor 
had received an express from General Waddell informing 
him that he was surrounded by about two thousand Regula- 
tors and had been forced to retire; and he also learned that 
their rendezvous was to be at Hunter's plantation on Sandy 
Creek with the view of obstructing the junction of the two 
government detachments, and later came the disquieting in- 
telligence that they were preparing to attack his camp. In- ?-^^'^'"' 
stead, however, of an attack, about six o'clock in the evening 
the governor received, at the hands of Jan-iCS Hunter and 
Benjamin Merrdl. a communication from them desiring to 
know if he would hear their petition for a redress of their 
grievances. He laid this letter before a council of war, 
and inform.ed the Regulators that he woudd return an 
answer by twelve o'clock the next day. That night S- R- ^ix. 
Captain John Walker and Lieutenant John Baptista Ashe, 

37-'^ TRVOX-S .IDMiyiSTR.ITIOX. rj6=,-;j 

2J1 who had been sent out to reconnoitre, were captured by the 

insurgents, tied to trees, severely whipped, and detaine.l a> 
prisoners. \\ hen the governor's messenjjer was convcyin<' 
his answer to the camp of the Regulators thev jrave 'iiiiu 
..' ■ such insults that he returned without deliverini^ it. Early on 
the morninir of the i6th. the two forces beincv about five miles 
apart, the crovernor moved forward, and about ten o'clock 
came within a lu'df mile of the Rei^uiator encampment, and 
there formed a line of battle. He then sent forward Captain 
Malcolm, one of his aides, and the sheriff of Orange with his 
letter, requirinc: them to lay down their arms, surren<ier up 
their outlawed leaders, and submit to the laws of the prov- 
CR.,vin. uice. These terms were rejected with disdain, and gradually 
the two lines approacherl until the .s^overnment forces occu'- 
picd the o-round which the van of the Regulators had first 
occupied, but from which it had fallen back to their main 
body.^ Some communications now passed for the exchancre 
of Walker and Ashe for seven of the Retjulators who had 
been captured bv the militia, and the proposition was aj^reed 
to. The insur--ents delayed and sent word that thev would 
comply within an hour. The i^overnor, suspectino- that the 
delay was ii-.tended to enable the enemv to outflank liim, de- 
termined to wait no longer. 

The battle begins. May 16, 1771 
May .6,:,,. The -overuor sent word bv his aide. Captain Philemon 
Hawkins, that he would immediatelv i^ive the sicjnal for ac- 
tion, and cautioned the Rc-ulators to take car^e of them- 
selves; that if they did not directlv lav down their arms 

they would be fired on. "Fire and be d d !" was the an- 

Hitr'N h ^^^-^^^ ^^^ .s:o\-ernor thereupon orave the order, which, not 

cn.'ii,;.r bemsr immediately obeyed, rising in his stirrups and turnino- 

-^^ to his men, he called out: '-Pire! fire on them or on me ''^ 

Accordingly, the artillery began the fire, which was followed 

by a discharge from the whole first line, and the action 

almost instantly became general. 

e;;!'^"'' ^^ the militia there were about iioo. The number of the 

Regulators has been variously estimated at between 2000 and 

4000: but a considerable portion of them were unarmed. 

and pn.ibably but few expecte.l to engage in a battle. They 


were not mar.-hn.Iled in or.q;anizo(l companies ; had no trained ^JJ 

cnotains to command ; and were a concourse of resolute citi- ^ R-. -"^i^- 


;;cns rather than an army in l:)attle array. Their chiei com- 
mander was James Hunter. 

At the first fire m.any left the field, amon^: them being 
1 lermon Husband. After the conflict had lasted half an hour 
the Regulators occupied a piece of woods and fought from 
behind the trees, as in Inlian warfare. To <lislo(lge tliem 
Tryon advanced lu!s first line and drove them from cover, 
pursuing them half a mile beyond their camp. In one ac- ,.]^^j"'°°^^ 
cr-nnt of the battle preserved in the IMoravian records, it is 
said that "many had talcen refuge in the woods, whereupon 
the govertior ordered the v.orKis to be set afire, and in con- 
sequence some of the wounded were 'roasted alive.' " It is 
to be observed, however, that in the midulle of May a v^'oods 
fire progresses but slowly, even if it burns at all. 

In th.e earlier stages of the i)attle, Robert Thompson, a 
Regulator, who had been taken prisoner, defying the power 
of his captors, undertook to make his escape, and it is said 
that Governor Tryon s'.iot hmi down with his own hand. 
Tliompson had been a -trenuous agitator, and doul)tless c. r.. viii, 
was a bold, determined man. For slavins: him Governor 'I'h.-^n'pson 
Tryon was criticised. It no other means to prevent escape 
was at the moment available, any soldier would have 
been justified in talcini:: a prisoner's life, oth.erwise wot. 
While in the heat of battle one's actions are not to be too 
nicely weighed, life is never to be taken unnecessarily. 

The loss of the nulitia was reported as nine killed and rhe io«es 
sixty-one wounded. A detachment from Beaufort County 
under Captain lohn Patten, being a part of the regiment c. r., viii, 
commanded by Colonel William Thompson, of Carteret, sut- 
fered the greatest proportionate loss, fifteen killed and 
wounded out of tliirty. Those of the insurgents who par- 
ticipated in the action stood up manfully. They were not 
dismayed by the artillcrw and indeed held their ground at 
such short range that they silenced the artillery, requiring 
particular eft"orts to dislodge them by advancing rifiemen for 
that purpose. Their loss was. according to one account, nin.e 
killed and thirty missing, and accor.'ling to another upwards 
of twenty were killed. Their conduct under fire was as C-'^-'^"'- 


C. R. 

spirited as it was bold, and for two hours they protracted 
the unequal contiict with the trained militia despite the 
severe losses th.ey suitercd. The insurgents being driven 
from the held, the militia advanced some little distance, 
but finding tlie enemy dispersed, withdrevv to their orig- 
inal encampment. Thus closed that fateful and unhappy 
day. The wounded on both sides were humanely cared 
for, and the next evening the dead were interred, and 
there were prayers and thanksgivings for the victory. 
The ceremonies of the day were concluded by the hang- 
ing of James Few. a prisoner — a proceeding that has 
attached well-merited odium to the name of Governor Tryon. 
Of Fev.- it hDs been said "That he was of a fanatical turn of 
mind, and believed himself raised up by the hand of God 
to liberate his country." "That he was sent by Heaven to 
relieve the world from oppression, and that he was to begin 
in Xorth Carolina." An account of his execution given 
in the Community Diary of the Moravians a week later says : 
"A certain young man, a fine young fellow, had been cap- 
tured, and when given the alternative of taking the oath or 
being hanged he chose the latter. The governor wished to 
spare his life, and twice urged him to submit. But the young 
man refused. The messenger described how, with the rope 
aroimd his neck, he was urged to yield btit refused, and the 
governor turned aside with tears in his eyes as the young 
man was swung into eternity." 

Few had been indicted for felony at the special court held 
at New Bern on March ir, 177T. He was one of those 
who refused to surrender them.selves within the time limited 
by the riot act. Under that act he was deemed guilty of the 
oftence charged as if he had been convicted thereof by due 
course of law, and it was made lawful for any one to take his 
life, but this outlawry was dependent on the required publica- 
tions of the proclamation, a fact not ascertained as to Few. 
But of this Governor Tryon seems not to have been advised. 
He regarded Few. Hunter, Flusband as outlaws. Still, the 
cor.tingency had not then arisen when Few could have been 
lawfully slain as an outlaw, nor was Governor Trvon justi- 
fied in dealing so sunmiarilv with a prisoner. He sought 
to extenuate his needles^ act by saying: '"This gave great 

Few hanged 
Mav X7th 

Lite of 

Lite of 
Tryon, 133 

Hist, of 










-atislnclion to the men, and at this time it was a necessary 'JJ^ 

sacrifice to appease the mnrmurinc's of tlie troops, who were ^ryon's 
importunate that pubHc justice should be immediately exe- 
cuted against some of the outlaws that were taken in thie ac- s. r.. xix, 
tion, and in opposing of whom they had braved so many dan- ^*^ 
jj^ers and suttered such loss of lives and blood, and without 
which satisfaction some refused to march forward while 
others declared they would give no quarter for the future." 
Such might v.ell have been the feelings of some of the 
eastern militia, but it was not tlie part of a command- • ■' 

ing officer to be swerved frotn his own sense of duty by the 
intemperate passion of his soldiers. He was there to assert 
the majesty of the law and to maintain the authority of 
established government — not to blazon the power of success- 
ful arm.s by a needless act of butchery. 

Subsequent movements 

The next day the wounded were sent to the plantation of 
IMichael Holt with a surgeon and medicines, and the main 
army proceeded to Lewis's mill, three miles beyond the tield 
of battle, where a detach.ment under Colonel Ashe that had 
been advanced was surrounded by about three hundred of 
the Regulators. Immediately after the battle a proclamation 
had been issued granting pardon to all who should come 
into camp, surrender up their arms, take an oath of alle- c. r.,viii, 
giance to the king and an oath of obligation to pay their *''' 
taxes, and to support and defend the laws of the land.'* Ex- 
ceptions, however, were made of the outlaws and prisoners 
laken and some fourteen others. Alanv now accepted these Pardons and 
terms and submitted. The army the next dav marched to 
James Hunter's and destroyed his dwelling and outhouse, 
and then took possession of Hermon Husband's plantation, 
finding there "a large parcel of treasonable papers;" and, 
the inhabitants continuing to come in, submitting themselves 
to government, the proclamation of pardon was renewed and 
the time extended ; but the exceptions now embraced the 

*Governor [Martin spoke of thi? "oath as one of allegiance, etc., 
^^^' i -■^'^'^''^'-'•''.•^<-'^c''ibed it as '"your new coined oath to he obedient 
to the laws of the province, and to pay the public faxes." To that 
dcscr.ption the governor himself added, "to support and defend the 
laws of tiie land." as in the text. 


374 TR VOX'S .IDMIXISTRAflOX. J76-.--r 

llj_l "fJlack Boys" and some others at first omitted, amoti^^ 

them being Tliomas Person. The outlaws named were Hus- 
banrl, Hunter, Howell and I3utler, and on their heads a price 
was set. Heavy rains, which had begun on May 20th and 
continued until the 28th, added much to tlie discomfort of 
the men. many of whom were seized with pleurisies. 

The army remained a week in Sandy Creek, tlicn passed 
to Deep River, and on June i st was in the Jersey settlement. 
On June 4th, on Reedy Creek. General Waddell's forces 
joined tiie main army, and they marched to Wachovia, where 
they remained several da\ s. and at Salem on June 6th they 
^ '" ' celebrated tlie king's birthday and the victory nf the i6th. 

c. K..vrit, During this marcli the houses and plantations of those who 
^' were '">ntla\ved v.-ere laid waste and destroyed, and their 

■ ' ■■■ ■- owners fled from the province. 

Th.e insurgents having been quieted on the Deep and the 
Haw, and information being received that they were rising 
to the south and west. General Wadtlcll was detached on 
June 8th with some five hundred men and artillery to move 
into tliT't spi^t'on and suppress tliem ; and on the same day 
Governor Tryon began his return movement. 

. , •. , . . The army reached Hillsboro on the 14th. w'lcre the cattle 
and horses were turned on the plantation of William Few, 
the father of James Few, who was said to have been "very 

5. R . .\ix. active in promoting the disturbance of the country." Hav- 

^5-^ ing taken some prisoners on ^May 13th, Governor Tryon 

orderefl that a special ternfof court under the riot act should 

c^R..vnT, i^g opened at Hillsboro on the 30th of that month, but the 
governor had kept the prisoners along with the army with 
the view of parading them l^efore the country, and the court 
had been kept open awaiting their arrival for trial. 

The trials 

The trials began on June 14th and lasted until the i8th, 
when twelve prisoners were sentenced to death on the charge 
of high treason. Six of these were immediately executed. 
The record of the court has not been preserved. Four of 
those executed were Benjamin Merrill. Robert )>Iatear, Cap- 
The tain Messer and James Pugh. The names of two are un- 

victims known. Si>: were reprieved : Forrester Mercer. James Stew- 


art, James Emerson, Herman Cox, William I'^rown and UJ2 

James Copeland, and later they were pardoned by the king. 

Tlie melancholy spectacle of the execution was accompanied 

l.y a military i)aradc/^= and its terrors were augmented by the 

inipressiveness of the scene. The governor attended with 

the entire army, and caused all of the prisoners to be brought 

out to witness it. 

The people, utterly subdued, their leaders f!ed or taken, l^''^^' 
had continueti to come in and ask for pardon, so that by 
June 19th more than three thousand had submitted to the 
government and taken the oath to pay their taxes and obey 
the laws which Governor Tryon had exacted of them. 
Vv'hen. later. General Waddell had made his report, giving c. r.,ix,78 
the result of his excursion imo the southwestern part of the 
province, the entire number who had taken tlie oath aggre- 
i,^ated 6409. and about 800 guns had been turned into the 
government by the malcontents. Apparently then the west- 
ern comities were disarmed and thoroughly subjugated. 
But the ncople \\ere not pocined. and many moved from the 
province, some passing the mountains and iinding homes in 
the forests of the Holstein settlement. 

Governor Tryon, having on June 13th received informa- Trx^^n^ 
tion that he had been appointed governor of New York, and jrot,. the 
having instructions to repair without loss of time to that c. r., viii. 
province, conmiunicated to the army that he would march *" 
to the southward immediately after the executions, and that 
he would leave the army under the command of Colonel 
Ashe, he himself hastening to New Bern. On June 30th 
he embarked for New York, where he arrived on July 7th 
and assumed the administration. He carried with him the ^'"1^; /f^' 
esteem and good-will of the leading men of the eastern part •^^ h^ 
of the province, who commended his bravery and courage, 
and approved his administration in the difficult circum- 
stances that attended it. 

*A gruesome memorial of this event is preserved in State Records. 
XXII, 465: 

"The Pi'.llic to Thomns Donnldson. Dr.— iQth June. 1771. To 
l-.angmg six men at Hi!lsi)oro Court of Oyer, etc., five pounds each — 
thirty pounds. P'r Thomas Donaldson." 

3-6 TR]'OyS ArK'.I/XfSTR.mOX. 176^71 

^7-j As the disturbances incident to the Rei^ulation movement 

were a marked feature of attairs durins^ that period, so the 
efforts of ti:e p^-overnment to suppress them were also un- 
usual and remarkable. The riot act. passed by the Assembly, 
of which Caswell was speaker, and Harnett. Johnston. Hewes, 
Howe, the ^loores and many others who led in the revolu- 
tionary movement three years later, were members, and 
which received the approval of the governor, was such a 
strin;2:ent measure as to challenge criticism. That clause of 
it which required indicted persons, after proclamation, to 
surrender themselves within sixty days and stand trial on 
pain of being deemed guilty and of being held outlaws sub- 
ject to being killed by any one, was considered by the 
Crown officers as "irreconcilable to the principles of the con- 
stitution.'" "full "f danger in its operation" and "unfit for any 
part of tlie British Empire ;" ahhough they mentioned that 
"the circumstances of the province may excuse inserting 
such clause in this act."' It was certainly a fierce and "oloody 
expedient, resorted to because the persons accused could 
not be arrested. Other than that, the act received the ap- 
proval of the Crown, and inasmuch as its operation was 
limited to a single year, it was allowed to stand until its 
expiration. James Few was the only person who suffered 
death under it. as an outlaw, if indeed the governor justified 
even his execution by that sanction. 

The armv. after Tryon's departure from Hillsboro. pro- 
ceeded to Colonel Ervan"s in Johnston County and there the 
detachm.ents separated, marching to their respective counties, 
where they were disbanfled. The cost of the expedition, 
about, had in part been met by notes issued 
by Treasurer Ashe, which he announced would be received 
by him in payment of taxes. These notes circulated as cur- 
rencv. and in some measure gave relief to the people in the 
scarcity of a circulating medium. 



act ir 



, IX, 

285. i 


S. R. 

, XI, 


,- I 

17 15 1705 1(385 






,4 '-VV'VV' 

Ma;> OF NoKiu Cahoi.ina: sitriwi'i iCvi'i.i liON ny sv.ri.t.sti-.Nis and. 


37 7 


Social Life at the Opexixg of the Revolution 

In the homes of the people. — Sociril condition?. — The state church. 
—The Protestant dissenters.— The Baptist churches.— Pioneers of 
Methodisn-i.— Edt-cation and schools.— Taxation.— The la-^-yers.— 
The Quakers and the militia. — Servants and slaves. 

In the homes of the people 

McRee. in his ""Life of Iredell." has given an admirable 
portrayal of tv/o communities in the province about the time .mcr.-. 
of Martin's administration. Of the region of which Eden- !'.^:-.'"' ^^' 
ton was the centre, lie says : 

If \v-, s of ^'tch rcmarkab'e f'^r'ilitv that it mi'^ht veil have been 
styled the granary of the province ; it was also the place of concen- 
tration and market-town for the opulent planters of a large district 
of country. . . . The climate was humid and unhealthy, but soft 
and luxurious. Gam.e and fish were abundant, and cattle and sheep 
and swine throve and multiplied upon the spontaneous fruits of the 
earth. If there was little of the parade and pomp of older com- 
munities, if many of the appliances of luxury .vere wanting, ease 
and abundance were the reward of bul a slight degree of frugality 
and industry. No palatial dwellings existed — tapestry and plate were 
v.anting; but the homes of the planters were comfortable and ample 
for all the purposes of hospitality, while their tables groaned beneath 
dainties beyond the reach of wealth on the Ouier side of the Atlantic. 
He who supposes them an untutored people is grossly deceived. The 
letters that will appear in tiie course of the narrative will demon- 
strate that they were equal in cultivation, ability, and patriotism to 
any of their contemporaries. The men were bold, frank, generous, 
and intelligent; the females, tender and kind and polite. The 
strength of the former was developed by manly labors. The taste of 
the latter v.-as improved and their imaginations e.xalted by the varied 
forms of beauty that surrounded them. ... In 1769 the tov,n of 
Edenton was the court end of the province. Within its limits and 
1" its immediate vicinity there was, in proportion to its population, a 

177 1 


1771 greater number of men eminent for ability, virtue, and erudition than 

Social in any other part of America. Colonel Richard Buncombe was a 

coiuiiiions native of St. Kitts. He was educated in England and possessed a 
large fortune. Of "Lawyer Pearson, an English gentleman." little 
is known save that he married the mother of Sir Nathaniel Dukin- 
field, and thus became master of large estates. Colonel John Dawson 
(a lawyer who married the daughter of Governor Gabriel Johnston) 
resided at Eden House, noted for its splendid hospitality and the 
refined society generally assembled there. Dr. Cathcart was a gentle- 
man of extraordinarily fine sense and great reading. His two daugh- 
ters "Svere possessed of the three greatest motives to be courted: 
■ , beaut>% wit and prudence, and money; great fortunes, and toasted in 
most parts of tlie province."' 

And so McRee continues with brief accounts of Joseph 

•' - ■'' Hewes, Thomas Barker, Thomas Jones, Jasper Carlton, 

Stephen Cabarrus, Robert Smith, Charles Johnson, WiUiani 

Cumming, Sir Nathaniel Dukinfield, the Harveys and the 

' • Johnstons, who '"possessed talents and attainments that, 

••■ when combined, not only enabled them to determine the 

•• • ' politics of their district, but gave them a potent influence in 

the province." 
■ '- '-"'' Of the lower Cape Fear he likewise says: 

., , ",-. \ Mr. Hooper was a native of Boston and a graduate of Cambridge, 
Mass. After studying law w ith James Otis, he became a citizen 
of Wilmington. That town and its vicinity was noted for its un- 
McRce's boimded hospitality and the elegance of its society. Men of rare 
Ir."^ m- ^' talents, fortune, and attainment united to render it the home of 
politeness and ease and enjoyment. Though the lootprmt of the 
Indian had as yet scarcely been effaced, the higher civilization of the 
Old World had been transplanted there and had taken vigorous root. 
There were Colonel John Ashe, the great popular leader, w'nose ad- 
dress was consunnnate, and whose quickness of apprehension seemed 
i intuition, the very Rupert of debate; Samuel Ashe, of stalwart 

frame, endowed with practical good sense and a profound knowledge 
of human nature; Harnett, "who could boast a genius for music and 
taste for letters." the representative man of the Cape Fear; Dr. 
John Eustace, '"who united wit. and genius, and learning, and 
science"; Colonel Thomas Lloyd, "gifted with talents and adorned 
with classical literature"' ; Howe, "whose imagination fascinated, 
whose repartee overpowered, and whose conversation was enlivened 
by strains of exquisite raillery" ; Dr. John Fergus, of stately pres- 
ence, with velvet coat, cocked hat, and gold-headed cane, a graduate 



of Edinburgh and an excellent Latin and Greek scholar; William '7?i 

Pcnningtr,n. afterward master of the ceremonies at Bath, "an ele- 

K^int writer, admired for his wit and his highly polished urbanity"; 

Judge Maurice Moore, of versatile talents, and possessed of extensive 

information; as a v. it. always prompt in reiily ; as an orator, always 

daring the mercy of chance: Maclaine, irascilile but intellectual, who conditions 

trod the paths of honor nearly pari passu with Iredell and Hooper 

and Johnston, and "whose criticisms on Shakespeare would, if they 

were published, give him fame and rank in the republic of letters." 

And he continues to porlra}' tlie social characteristics of 
the Hills. Lillingtons, DeRossets, Moores, and others who 
then adorneil the Cape Fersr rej^ion. 

New Bern, as well, was a centre where refinement and '' 
ele<,^ance abounded. It was the residence of the governor; 
an enipnrium of trade, with wealthy merchants, enterprising 
citizens and cultivated society. Originally settled by the 
Huguenots. Palatine?, and Swiss, by industrious Germans as 
well as by Welsh and Englishmen, the region of which it 
was the social metropolis was inhabited by a population 
notable for their thrift, politeness and tine characteristics. 
There the first academy had been established and main- p'")'*;^ 
taincd ; there the tirst printing press was erected, and there ^■■'■^^. . 
the first newspaper, the Xorlli Carolina Gazette, was pub- KiK^ieenth 
lished — in December, 1755 — followed, at length, by anuiher is^^agl'ss 
at Wilmington, in September, 1764. 

Among the earliest pubdications of Davis's press, other 
than provincial lav.'s, was a sermon preached before the : ;.:••• 
General Assembly by Rev. James Reid, in 1762. '"Recom- 
mending the Establishing Public Schools for the Education 
of Youth." printed by the Assembly, that ■"the same might 
be dispersed in the several counties within this province." 

Halifax had also become a nucleus of elegant society, with 
rich planters and cultured citizens; while at Hillsboro, where 
the governors spent their summers, the simplicity of back- 
woods life was giving place to the refining influences of 
advanced social conditions. In all the counties were men 
like Willie and Allen Jones, the Kenans, Dicksons, Battles, 
flolmes, Hawkins, Haywoods, Flarts, Alstons, Rowans, 
Lloyds. Osborns, Polks — too numerous to specify, men of 
education and culture, many of whom were native and "to the 



At the west 

C. R., VIII, 


iTianor born," while others, like Caswell, Hooper, Hewes, 
Avery, the Sumner?. Martins and McDowells, had but re- 
cently cotne from other communities, well educated, ener- 
getic, enterprising-. vi_q;orous in mind and in body. 

Along- tlie Virginia border the people were chiefly of 
colonial descent : but on the upper waters of the Cape Fear 
were coiigregfatcd thousands of Highlanders, many of whom 
were well educatetl. At Wachovia the ^loravians had been 
prosperous, had erected, mills and liad grown in importance; 
while the Sc'jtch-Irish. who occupied the fertile regions 
watcrc'l i)y tlie Catawba and triliutaries of the Yadkin, were 
interspersed with Germans, of whom there were some three 
thousand famihes, likewise accompanied by their pastors, 
men of learning, who tauglit the young- while ministering to 
their congregations. 

And in tlieir new homes the Scotch, Scotch-Irish and the 
Germans preserved their former manners and customs and 
their racial characteristics, and tliesc have in some measure 
been perpetuated so that after the lapse of a century and a 
half their respective settlements can still be distinguished. 
Similarly a settlement of Quakers, coming from Nantucket, 
who located at Xew Garden, has preserved its peculiar char- 
acteristics, while the Jersey settlement on the Yadkin near 
Salisbury, so called liecause made by emigrants from Xew 
Jersey, has retained its original appellation. 

Facilities of communication were scant. This was a par- 
ticular hardship with the settlers at the far west who. com- 
ing from the north, located at a considerable distance be- 
yond the frontier settlements extending from the coast. 
There was a wide breadth of forest intervening between the 
inhabitants of Sandy Creek, \\'achovia, Salisbury and the 
Catawba, and the marts of trade on the lower Cape Fear. 
Easier roads led to the towns of \'irginia and of South Caro- 
lina, and those became the markets of the western counties. 
There v^'as no specie in the province, while the amount of 
paper currency became entirely insutificient as the population 
was rapidly augmented. 

At the east both saw-mills and gristniills had long been 
established ; at the west the new settlors quickly began to 

Tlie marts 
of trade 


orcct them on the streams where they located ; and these i.'^ 

became important ]-)oints in th.eir social and business life. 

Felling" the forests, clearing the fields, building- houses, 
opening roa-'s. constructing mills — in a word, making their 
homes habitable in those secluded regions — called forth the 
best exertions oi those new settlers : and fortunate was it for 
them that their winters were mild, tlie summers temperate, 
while their fields yielded rich harvests, and the bright sun- 
shine brought buoyant hope, health and happiness. Many of 
the families, observed Governor Dobbs. have ten children 
in them, and experience has long since proved that the 
natural increm.ent of population in that favored region is no- 
where exceeded in the world.* 

The state church 

It was contemplated in the original grant to the Lords Pro- 
prietors that there might be a state church and presumably 
that it wouM be conformable to the usage in England. The 
first effort in that direction was made in 1701, when each 
precinct was declared to be a parish, for which a vesiry was 
appointed, and the vestry was empowered to employ min- 
isters and to \:\y a tax of not more than five shillings on the 
poll for parish purposes, which included looking after the 
poor as well as providing a place of worship. Ten years 
later, when Governor Hyde met his first assembly, an act of 
Parliament having been passed declaring the province a c. r., i, 

759, jqo 

*In iSio the ecbt.'ir of the Raleieh Star received many communi- 
cations from intelligent men re.-irlir.g in every part of the State, 
throwing light on the commencement and progress of settlements in 
North Carolina. Th'^ mass of n:aniHcripts was subsequently deposited 
in the library at Chapel Hill, but now cannot be found. Mr. Caruth- 
ers. who examined it. said: "From it we learn that Edgecomb began 
to be settled in 1726 by people from Virginia, who came there for 
the sake of living at their ease, as the climate was mild, the range 
good, and game in abundance: Wayne in 1735. but made little prog- 
ress until 1750; Caswell in 1750. but had not more than ten families 
until 1755. when ti-ie Leas. Graves. Kimbro-, Pattersons and others 
came from Oranee and Culpepper counties in Virginia: Rockingham 
in 1750, by hunters, v. ho were soon tolloued by a more substantial 
population; and Guilford about the same time, as appears from the 
deeds of land obtamed by the Nottingham company. That company, 
by agents sent out for the purpose, purchased 33 surveys, or 21. uo 
acres, on the waters of North Buffalo and Reedv Fork; and one of 
their deeds, wl;ich is now before me, is dated December 3, 1753." 
(CariUher:,' Life of Caldwell, 93.) 


!^ member of the Crown of Enqlancl. the Assembly enacted that 

the laws of Pin.o^land '"are the laws of this g-overnment so far 
as they are compatible with our way of living--" ; and that all 
the statute laws of England made for the establishment of 
the Church and for the intlulgence to Protestaiit dissenters 
were in force in the province. This enactment firmly estab- 
lished the Church of England as the state church, and put 
in force the Act of Toleration, which remitted all penalties 
for non-conformity in the case of Protestant dissenters who 
did not deny the doctrine of the Trinity. 

s^i^ ,xxiii. In 1729 apparently each parish was invested with the right 
to elect its own vestrymen, who still had the privilege of 
employing their ministers, being members of the established 
church. Up to that time there had been in tb.e province no 
other ordained ministers of any denomination ; but about 
that time Paul Prdmer and Joseph Parker organized Bap- 
tist churches in the Albemarle section. In 1741 the vestry 
law was amended requiring vestrymen to declare that the'v 
,)..., "would not oppose the liturgy of the Church of England." 
They still had the right to lay a tax on the poll for parish 
piirposes, and by a two-thirds vote they could withdraw the 
stipend agreed to be paid to any minister. At that period 
there were only four ministers of the established church in 
the province, perhaps an equal number of Baptist ministers 
and none of the Presl)yterian faith. There was but little 
The rite of room for clashing- among the ministers. Eater some differ- 

marri.ige . ' ' 

ences arose m reg^ard to the right of Presbyterian ministers 
to perform the marriag-e service. 'Originally in t666 certain 
civil officers were empowered to perform the marriag^e cere- 
mony, and '"the persons violating thi,> marriage shall be pun- 
ished as if they had been married by a minister according to 
the rites ... of England." The Quakers married according 
to their own rites. In 1715 it was again enacted that magis- 
trates might perform the marriage service in parishes where 
no minister was resident; but in all cases a license or the 
li^^'^s^"^' P^-t>^ication of banns was reiuiired. The law remained un- 
changed imtil 1741. when it was again enacted that no min- 
ister or justice should celebrate the rite of marriage without 
licen-e or banns; and that the parish minister, if one, should 
be entitled to the fee unless he neglected or refused to per- 


fctrm the service. There were still no Preshytcrian ministers ^ 

settled in the province and but very few Baptist ministers, 
aod it was no\\here the practice for I'.aptist ministers at that 
time to perform the marriaire service. About 1755 Hugh 
McAden and James Campbell established themselves respec- 
ti\'ely in Dupliri and Cumberland counties, where they or- 
ganized Presbyterian congregations. These were regularly 
ordained ministers of that faith. A little later Rev. Henry 
Pattillo, James Criswell. David Caldwell. Joseph Alexander 
and Hezekiah Balch had charges of the same communion 
further in tlie interior. In their respective settlements there 
were but few avlherents of the Church of England. Now, ... , 
however, some clashing because of religious ditterences be- 
came observable. j.^ 

Originally introduced in 1701 in an effort to secure some 
religious services for the colon)', at a later period the state 
church was fostered by influences emanating from Great 
Britain. It was a survival of former usages, and was not 
then so itiharmcnious with the times as it subsequently be- 
came. In every European country religion was the care of 
the state ; and in England the established church was at 
once the mainstay of the Crown and the support of the rul- 
ing dynasty, while it had h)ng been tlie bulwark protecting 
Protestantism from the domination of Catholicism. When ; ft .. 
the province became attached to the Crown, the king being 
at the head of affairs, ecclesiastical as well as civil, and all 
provincial laws requiring his concurrence, his officers sought 
to strengthen and promote the state church, and such was 
the tenor of the instructions given to the governors. Par- f^^^^^^' 
ticular effort was to be made to that end — even schoolmas- 
ters being rer|uired to be members of the established 
church. Such was one of the results of the domination 
of the Crown, of the close comiection of the province 
with the mother countrv. North Carolina was to be ^'*'iV^"^'? 
fashioned after England — a consequence not so intoler- acidcmies 
able, for all the inhabitants were British subjects, reared 
under existing institutions, and regarding their king as the 
fountain of all honor and justice. 

The freeholder^ of the ea^t dominated the Assembly, an<l 
they were largely in sympath}' with the Church of England, 


im. Legislation therefore conformed to the wishes of the Crown. 

The parish Yq^ jt was bv HO nicans onerous. But while the burdens im- 

taxes • . , 

posed were not iieavy, nevertheless the principle ot taxation 

for church purposes was offensive to maiiy of the dissenting 

chi!rd; and inhabitants. How slight the tax was may be gathered from 

statein ijig fcport of Ouaker sufferings made annuallv "to the 

North _ ' . — ^ o _ - . 

Carolina, 51 Meeting" for Sufferings" in London; "in 1756, chiefly for the 
maintenance "of an hireling priest.' " £10 14s. 5d. ; two years 
later, ±14 17s. 6d. ; 1750. tS^ : 1760, £23: 1761, no sufferings; 
nor in 1762, nor 1765. In 1768 fines were reported amount- 
ing to £5 4s.. "being for priests' wages and repairing their 
houses, called churches." In 1772. 30s., church rates; none 
in 1773 nor 1774. 

The amount of tithes collected here, says Dr. Weeks, is 
ridiculously small ; but in this small sum was wrapped the 
whole principle of liberty of conscience. 

At the west the Presbyterians concerned themselves but 
little with the vestry laws. They either did not elect vestry- 
men, or chose those who carried into operation only the pro- 
visions relating to the poor of the parish, not providing any 
stipend for '"an orthodox minister." Yet certainly some of 
the incidents of the state church bore hard on the follow- 
ers of Knox, as on the Baptists. 

Since the assemblymen. North Carolinians, enacted the 
laws, there was no infringement of any liberty of worship; 
there was no persecution. "There was no opportunity for 
it under the existing laws, and the dissenters were aggres- 
sive and powerful. The manuscript records of the Friends 
show perfectly conclusively that while they suffered distraint 
for tithes and military levies, they were not imprisoned. 
They suffered no bodily violence." 'There was more re- 
ligious liberty at the beginning than at the close of the 
colonial life of Xorth Carolina, but there is no well-authen- 
ticated case of bodily persecution in our annals, unless we 
ch^r^chand ^ount the imprisonment of the Quakers who refused to bear 
st.itein arms in 1680 as such, and this seems to have been more 

North . ..... ., 

Carolina, 48 political than religious m its character. 

Yet the eff'ort to maintain the state church system in a 
province where so many were indi>pn;;ed to support it was a 
source of irritation, without any cotnpensating advantages, 



wliile funclnmentaUy erroiiecjus in princii)]^. The e>tab- 'J^J 

lished church as a .itate instiiution was out of f)lace in 
America, where the people, bursting;- the bonds of the past, 
had enierg^ed into a new hfe, with greater freedom of 
thought and action nurturetl bv their close contact with na- XheVestry 

. ...'.. . Act 

ture ; and one of the chief objects in view, strengthening the 
Crown, was defeated by its rendering the Crown antagonistic 
to the dissenters in that relation of life which was dearest 
to the people, their church aftiliations. In 1762 provision 
was made "for an orthodox clergy," by which the salary of 
clergymen was fixed at ±133, and. as formerly, a lee. for 
marrying was allowed, although performed by another. The 
vestry still had the right to select t'.ie clergyman, who, how- 
ever, was requirctl to have a certihcate from tlie bishop of 
London that he had been ordained in the Church of Eng- 
land. In case of bad conduct he could be removed by the 
governor and council. This last provision was objectionable 
to the authorities in England, and for that reason the act Vv-as 
not allowed. Three years later a sinular act was passed, the 
freeholders in every parish being required to elect twelve 
vestrymen, and if they elected a dissenter who refusetl to 
qualify he was fined. The vestry could levy a tax of ten 
shillings on the poll for church purposes, for encouraging 
schools, maintaining the poor. etc. To meet the objection 
raised to the former act it was now provided that while 
clergymen might be suspended by the governor for mis- s r., 
conduct, the su^^pension should be only until the l)i.>liop of ' ' ' ^^ 
London passed on the cause.''' The churches of that com- 
munion in all the colonies were under the supervision of the 
bishop of Loiulon. 

Governor Tr}on. with great connections, was very anxious 
apparently to commend himself to the authorities at home, 
and yet he declared that he was a zealous advocate of the 
principles of toleration. It seems that the Presbyterian min- 
isters in the settlements at the west had performed the mar- 
riage ceremony without either license or publication of banns, 
contrary to th.e law in England, and in the province since 
171 1. When the act of 1762 was on its passage, the council c. r.,vi, 
proposed an amendment, "that no dissenting minister of any ^"^^ 

*Tliis act was rc-ciiacted in 176S. and again in 1774 for ten years. 


^JJZ 'ienomination whatever shall presume on any pretence to 

marry any persons under the penalty of forfeiting £50 

The proclamation money for everv such oftence.'' The house re- 

Presbvifnan . , , ' " 

miiisters jccted that proposcd amendment, and the act was passed 
without such a provision. This action was doubtless consid- 
ered as impliedly confirming- tlie rig:ht of the Presb\'terian 

•- ministers to perform the marriage service, the Assembly 

having- pointedly declined to concur in a provision declaring 
it unlawful. Still an}.- marriage without license or banns was 
irregular under die existing law. One of the first acts passed 
in Governor Tryon's time, reciting this irregularity, m.ade 

^ valid all such marriages and made it lawful for Presbyterian 

ministers, regularly called to any congregation, to celebrate 

' the rite of marriage in th.eir usual and accustomed manner, 

as any lawful magistrate might do, there having been issued 

5.- P.y, , a license for the same. The fee for such service was. how- 

XXI 1 1, 672 

ever, reserved to the minister of the Church of England in 

■ that parish, if one. unless he refused to do the service. This 

■ V act did not allow Presbyterian ministers to marry by the pub- 
' - lication of banns, and therefore it v/as not agreeable to the 

''•'*' Presbyterian communities, and they made bitter complaints. 

To remedy this, at the session of Deceitiber, 1770, an act was 
passed allowing these ministers to perform the service with 

"'"'■■' publication. Governor Tryon was eager to please the Pres- 

byterians, but Lord Dartmouth caused the act to be disal- 
lowed, saying that he could not approve of the dissenters in 

xxi'i'i, 826 ^^'^orth Car.Viina having any greater privileges than allow-ed to 

c- ^^^'^ll\ them in England, and that he was not at liberty to admit 
"a different mode of marriage in the colonies than required by 
the act of Parliament. Such was one of the effects of 
colonial dependence on the mother country — a Presbyterian 
minister could perform the marriage ceremony only as al- 
lowed by act of Parliament. 

J^^ , Under Trvon's active management the clergy of the 

Episcopal - . -^ •^- 

ciergy Church of England in the province increased from five to 

eighteen. These were distributed chiefly throu.ghout the 
eastern and northern counties. Some were supported solely 
by the stipend received from the Society for the Propagation 
of the Gospel and the voluntary oft'erings of the people ; 
others, being established in parishes, received the allow-ance 


made for them by law. There was, however, but little fric- ^j^' 

tion between them and the Presbyterians, who were settled 
chiefly at the west and dominated that entire section In 
1766. Rev. .\ntlrcw ^^lorton. boins^ sent from England as a 
missionary to minister in Mecklenburg County, ascertained 
v.-hen he reached Brunswick that that county v/as settled 
by Presbyterians, and did not go there. In Rowan there 
were some "f the established clmrch who asked for a min- 
ister, and about 1770 Rev. Theodorus Drage was assigned to 
that parish and imdertook to have a vestry elected ; but the 
Presbyterian element was too strong for him to contend 
v/ith, and after a year or two he gave up his charge. 

From an early date there had been adherents of the Bap- 
tist faith in the ])rovince. When in 1711 religious aflfairs be- 
came governed by the laws prevailing in England, the Tol- 
eration Act came into force. By this all penalties were re- The test 
mitted for non-conformityin the case of Protestant dissenters 
who did not deny the doctrine of the 1^-initv upon their tak- 
ing the oaths of allegiance and the test oath, declaring that 
"I do believe that there is not any transubstantiation in the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper or in the elements of bread 
and wine at or after the consecration thereof by any person 
whatsoever." It required, however, that their places of wor- 
ship should be registered in the comity courts, and that the 
doors of their place of meeting should be open during the 
time of worship ;* and their ministers were to subscribe 
the thirtv-nine articles of religion, except those relating to 
ecclesiastical government and infant baptism. At the time .T^^ . 

r , , . - , . ... I iileration 

ot ti\G adoption of this act of toleration, on the accession of '^'-■' 
William and Mary to the throne and the expulsion of the 
Stuart kings, it was understood that it relieved from penalties 
all except alone the Catholics and Unitarians. Every 
other denomination was content with it. In Xorth Carolina, 
under that act, the Baptists as well as the Presbyterians were 
required to register their churches, although probably the 
requirement was not always observed. In 1770 the Pres- t:K.,viii, 
byterians of Rowan registered two of their churches. 


The fir=t churches organized by the Baptists were Shiloh ''^^ . 
id !\[chcrrin : the next, in 1742. Kehukee ; Sandy Run, 1750 ; "'^"' 


•'These requirements were aimed at the Catholics. 



Fishin.c: Creek. 1755 ; also Reedy Creek. Sandy Creek in Ran- 
dolph and Grassy Creek in Granville. After that others fol- 
lowed fast, so that by 1771 there were twenty-two distinct 
con£;regations. besides the branches sjiriiii^ino: from those 

1739 parent churches which they supplied. At the September term 

of the county court of Edg-ecombe, "Jonathan Thomas, a non- 
conforming preacher, produced an ordination writing- signed 
by George Graham and John Moore, the pastors of the Bap- 
tists, ordaining him to go forth and preach the Gospel accord- 
ing to the tenets of tliat church ; and he therefore took the 
oaths of allegiance and subscribed the test appointed for that 
purpose." A similar proceeding was had at the June session 
of 1740 of the county court of Craven, and the applicants 
were given liberty to build a house of worship. It seems, 
however, that some of them were accused of having violated 
the Tolerniion Act and they were bound over to appear at 
the next term of the general court.* 

Methodists The present Methodist organization was not then in exist- 
ence. Rev. Mr. Whitefield passed through the province in 
1739 and again in 1764. and preached at Wilmington. New 
Bern and perhaps elsewhere, but still regarded himself as a 
minister of the Church of England. It was not till 1772 
that Jnveph Pilmoor. the first Methodist minister in North 
Carolina, began his ministrations. The vear following the 
first society was formed by Robert Williams; the first circuit 
was formed in 1776. The next year John King, John Dick- 
ens. LeRoy Cole and Edward Pride were appointed to the 
North Carolina Circuit, and at the close of the year they re- 
ported nine hundred and thirty mem.bers. King resided near 
Louisburg, and later ten m,iles w^est of Raleigh. The first 
conference was held near Louisburg on April 20th. 1785, 
at which Bishops Asbury and Coke were present. 

Education and schools 

Educational facilities in Albemarle were from the begin- 
ning greatly lacking. If there were schools and schoolmas- 
ters in the earlier years no mention was made of them ; yet 
as many of the inhal)itants. born and bred in Albemarle, evi- 

*A verbafim copy oi the minutes of court is to be found in 
Vass's "History of the New Bern Presbyterian Church." 

EDUC. I riOX. IL I- AC [If TIES 380 

dcntly received some training- in their youth, there must have ^"^j 

been teacher? amring them. When the ministers of the estab- 

Hsheti church bec^an to come in. about the opening of tlie 

cig-hteenth century, there are traces of some local schools. 

Charles Griftin was a school-teacher in Pasquotank, as well 

as lay reader. Tliere was a school taught by Mr. Mashburn 

at Sarum, thought to be near Jlandon, and about three nuk-s 

from Ballard's Bridge. Perhaps there were others employed 

as lay readers who also taught school. 

When the iDrovince Dassed under the immediate control .School- 
of the king and its institutions were m a measure con- tobeiicensed 

formed to those of the mother country, Governor Burrifig- 
ton was instructed in 1731 that no schoolmaster should 
be permitted to con-:e from England to North Carolina to 
keep school v.ith.out tlie license of the bishop of London; 
and "that no otlier person now there or that shall come 
from other parts shall be admitted to keep school in North 
Carolina w itliout your license first obtained."* This instruc- 
tion was in aid of the general purpose to promote the 
cstabl'shed churcii. to train children in ihai; faith, ruid 
strengthen tlie hold '">f the Crown on the people. Its natu- 
ral ettect must have been to discourage educational v/ork in 
the province. We h.ear of no more schools except one 
taught alifjut 1745 at Brunswick and the act of 1745 to build 
a school-house at Edmonton. In 1740 John Starkew himself 
it is said an ordained Episcopal clergyman, introduced a bill 
in the Icgi^-lature to estal)lisli a puldic school, but the act did 
not become operative. Later, in Governor Dobbs's time, it e?R , v 
was proposed m jiave a iwe school in every county: but that '^"* 
effort also miscarried. 

Notwithstanding the instructions given to Burrington 
were repeated to all later governors, it appears that the 
Scotch-Irish and other settlers in the interior had their local 
schools soon after coming to the province, as Goverrior 
Dobbs indicated, when on a visit to his lands in Rowan and 

*In T714, an act known as the Schism Act was passed by Parliament 
forbiduino; any person to ttach scliool who was not a member of 
the established church : this act was. however, repealed in 1719. 
muk-r the administration <ii the Whig party, whicii continued tor 
nearly sixty years, .\pparcntly. the governor could license a teacher 
v.'ho was not of the eitablished church, if so disposed. 


]m Mecklenbiirii' counties. They were probalilv not licensed bv 

Foote'.^ him. Although Wilmington had no urganized Presbyterian 

NoVth " ° church, Rev. James Tate, a Presbyterian minister, cann.' 

c^oiina, from Ireland about 1760 and opened a classical sch(^j.l 

Rumple. there, the first ever taught in that place. In the same year 

KoVan Croutield Acatlemy was established at Bellemont, near tho 

•^u">y. 3 gj^g ^: Davidson College. 

In 1764 it was proposed to erect a schoolhouse on some 
church property in Xew Bern, Thomas Tomlinson, on the 
first of January of that year, having opened a school there. 

xxi'ii 6 3 '^^'^^ school building was probably completed in 1766, when 
an act of th.e Assembly incorporated the trustees, provided 

'\'"' • a tax on rum to raise a salary of £20 per annum, and 
requircil the admittance of ten poor pupils, tuition free; 
and the license of the governor was required. In 1770 
an act passed reciting that the inhabitants of Edenton 
had erected a convenient schoolhouse. Trustees were 

xxii'i.saj appointed to conduct the school, and the master, as in the 
case of the school at Xew Bern, was required to be a mem- 
ber of the established c'nu.rch. recommended by a majority 
"1 of the trustees and licensed by the governor. These two 

academies at New Bern and Edenton afforded educational 
advantages that were of great benefit, extending through 
many years, to the people of the eastern counties. 

In 1767 Dr. David Caldwell opened a classical school in 
Guilford County that became famous, a large number of 
eminent men receiving their education there. A year or two 

Foote's later Rev. Henrv I'atrillo began to teach in Granville. One 

bkcicnes . ^ . '-' 

or his pupils. Charles Pettigrew, then of the Presbyterian 
faith, in 1773 became the principal of the Edentun Academy. 
A little later Rev. Dam'el Earl, who had been the minister at 
Edenton, established a classical school in Bertie. 

In 1 77 1 the Lutherans on Second Creek, Rowan County, 
sent Rintelmann and Layrle to Europe to obtain "help to 
support a minister and school-teacher." Their efforts re- 
sulted in the establishment of Godfrey Arndt as the school- 
master of tliat settlement. 

In i7t5S Joseph Alexander succeeded Mr. Craighead as 
pastor of Sugar Creek ; '"a fine scholar, he, in connection 
with Mr. Benedict, taught a classical school of high excel- 


k-nce ami usefulness." Indeed, tticre v\as probably a school 'J^j 

kipt open in most of the seven Presbyterian settlements in 
Mecklenburg- County. 

There was a grammar school at Charlotte before 1770, and s.r..xxv, 
in that year Edmund Fanning introduced a bill to establish '''"^' 
a seminary of learning there under the name of Queen's <.>neeirs 
College. Fanning. Pattillo, Abner Xash and otlier trustees 
were directed to meet at the grammar school and elect a 
president and tutors. The college was to b.ave the right to 
confer degrees. The president was to be of the established 
church, and licensed by the governor, but that was not 
required as to the trustees or tutors. To endow the college. 
a tax of sixpence was laid on all liquors brought into the 
county of ^lecklenburg for ten years. The trustees met 
and elected Fanning the president. Fanning, however, left 
the province, along with G(3vernor Tryon, in the summer s. r..xxv, 
of 1 77 1, and at the next session of the Assembly, in Decern- ^'° 
ber, 1 77 1, the charter was amended, enabling degrees to be 
conferred iri his absence. 

The original act having been sent to England, the Board 
of Trade reported "that this college, if allowed to be incor- 
porated, will in effect operate as a seminary for the education 
and instruction of youth in the principles of the Presbyterian 
Church." and the Board doubted whether the king should 
give that encouragement to the Presbyterians in North 
Carolina. The Board also objected to the looseness of the c. k^.ix, 
wording of the tax clause ; but in particular it recommended 
that the king should disallow the act because it came under 
the description of those unusual and important acts which 
were not to be passed without a suspending clause ; that is, 
such acts were not to go into effect until the king had 
assented to them. The king disallowed the act in April, 
1772, but the college seems to have been continued; and in 
April, 1773, the amendment being disallowed, a proclama- c, r., ix, 
tion was issued by Governor ]\Iartin in June declaring that ■'''^•^''^ 
the amendment was of no effect. The school was maintained, urVof"' 
apparently without interruption, nnder the name of Queen's (-r.ih.i^mt' 
Museum, and in 1777 the state legislature incorporated it as '^"^''' 
Liberty Hall, that act of Assembly then floclaring that a xxiv, 30 


^ number of youths there taught had since completed their 

education at various colleges in different parts of America. 

That there were other sciiools at that period in other 
settlements cannot be dou])ted ; while for higher education 
the colleges of William and Mary, Harvard. Yale, Prince- 
ton, in America, were patronized, and some of the youths 
from th.e seacoast counties at least were educated in England. 


In those early days, when wealth found investment only 
in lands and in negro property, the subjects of taxation were 
few. and for general purposes the exclusive tax- was on the 
pnll. The expenses of government had from the first been 
cast on the Lords Proprietors, at least to a great degree. The 
salaries of officers were paid from the quit rents by the 

L.-«.idtax receiver-general and by fees. In 1715. however, a tax was 
laid of 2s. 6d. on every one hundred acres of land, in addi- 
tion to fii:een shillings tax on the poll ; but the land tax was 
for that year only. 

At'ter the transfer to the Crown the same system was con- 
tinued, and the Crown otticers and provincial officers were 
paid from the quit rent^* and by fees. ]\[any years passed 
before th.e A.-sembly could be induced to make some little 
provision for a salary for the chief justice and the attorney- 
general. The chief current expense was in connection with 
the assemblies. 

PoU tax As soon as Governor Johnston came in the Assembly 

granted, an aid to th.e king, striking off currency for that 
purpose, and laying a tax on the poll to retire that currency. 
From time to time similar action was taken, provision being 
made to pay the provincial notes by a poll tax. 

tJ^.?, Sim.ilarlv th.ere was a countv tax for bridges, court-houses. 

AXUl, 190 . . ■ . ■ 

jails, etc.. which generally ran about one shilling on the poll ; 

and there was a parish tax usually applied to the care of 

the poor, and similar local purposes — and in some parishes 

a part of the fund going for the minister's salary, chapels, 

glebes, etc. This tax Avas limited to ten shillings, and seems 

to have nm from, one to three shillings generally. In 1768 

the provincial tax aggregated seven shillings per poll. One 

*.A.1I gr.-incs of laiul up to the Revolution were made subject to the 
y''^ quit rent. 



shilling was still being collected to sink the aid to the king '77< 

t;ranted twenty years earlier, and five shillings of the entire 

t.ix was because of these aids. There was a tax for con- 

liiigent expenses of government — to pay the chief justice, 

attorney-general, the expenses of the Assembly, etc. In that 

year there was a further tax of eight pence, which had been 

laid for two years to pay for the erection of the governor's 

|.alace. The count)- tax that year in Orange County was 

one shilling and rr.e parish tax three shillings. The poll tax 

was levied on all male whites over sixteen years of age 

and on all slaves, female as well as male, over twelve years 

of age. By this distribution, property paid a tax. for as Quit rents 

the lands were held by ciuit rents, most of the accumulated 

wealth was represented by slaves. For special purposes, 

some other taxes were imposed. A tonnage tax on vessels 

was collected for a fimd to purchase powder. A tax on rum 

and liquors was sometimes laid for a local purpose — as for 

the Xew Bern Academy and Queen's College. 

In order to have the commodities m:arketed in a mer- 
chantable condition, there were laws regulating how they 
should be put up for the market: and there were many 
places speciiied where tlicse articles of commerce could be 
inspected by an officer appointed for that purpose, and they 
were not to be shipped out of the province unless inspected. 
P\rDlic warehouses for the inspection of tobacco were estab- 
lished at Edentrin. at a point on the Chowan and at Hertforfl : 
at Jones's and Pitts's Landing, in Northampton ; at Tarboro, 
Halifax, Campbeilton : at Dixon's, Kingston, and Shep- 
herd's, in Dobbs County. The inspectors at these ware- inspectors' 
houses, on receiving commodities, gave inspectors' notes for 
the same ; and these notes or receipts were receivable in 
payment of public taxes at the following rates: Tobacco, 
at fifteen shillins^s per hundredweight : hemp, forty shilling.^ ; s. r., 
rice, twelve shillings : indigo, four shillings a pound ; beeswax. ■'^^"'' '^' 
one shilling : myrtle-wax, eight pence : tallow, six pence ; 
Indian-dressed, deer skins, two shillings, six pence. Thus it 
took rather ir.nre than a pound of tallow to pay the tax that 
was levied to buiid the governor's mansion, and fifty pounds 
of tobacco paid the entire provir.cia! tax of 1767-68. 


[J^ Lawyers 

xxii"i -88 '^ '''"' '^^^'^'^^^"^ ^^■'~'''^' rt-'.^ulated, and by act of 1770 they were 
not alii.uci.l to clnrL^e nK.>rc than ten shilHnc^s for any advice 
in a matter before the inferior court, where no suit was 
brought; nor more than £1 for advice in a matter cocmizalile 
in the superi.jr c^urt. In suits for land they could charge no 
more than ±5. In no other suit in the superior court could 
they charge more than £2 10s.. and in the inferior court their 
fee was ju>t one-h.alf of tiiat. They were to be fined £50 if 

x'xi'u, 7S9 tliey demanded any larger compensation. Their fee was 
embraced in tlie bill of costs in the suit, and if tlie attorney 
neglected his case the court could order him to pay all co.-ts 
occasioned by his neglect. After any case was determined. 
any client could, however, make further compensation, if he 
chose to do so. to hi< law yer. 

Quakers and the militia 

Quakers had been subject to a fine for not mustering; 
in 1770 tliey were excused from mustering, but stiil they 
l,C. .. were required to render military duty in time of peril. It 
was provided that tlie colonel of the county sliould make a 
list of all male Quakers between the a.^-es of sixteen and 
sixty, who should be unrler the command of some officer 
appointed by the governor. In time of invasion or insur- 
rection a proportionate number of this Quaker force mic:ht 
be called into service, but could provide substitutes or could 
pay £10 instead. 

Servants and slaves 

Negro slavery was introduced into the colonv at an early 
date, and servants by indenture was an English institution 
of long standing. ]\Iany persons came to America, paying 
their way by ati agreement to render service for a definite 
period of time, the-^e being called redemptionists. There 
were but few redemptionists broucrht to North Carolina, but 
apparently there was a considerable number of indented ser- 
vatUs. The law forbade the emancipation of negroes except 
for meritorious services, to be passed on and allowed by the 
justice's court for the precinct or county. In 1723 such a 
considerable number of free negroes, mulattoes, and other 


{•.crsons of mixed blood came into the coh^ny, several of ^ 

whom intermarried with tiic whiter" against tiic law, rhat a 
[larticular act was passed expelling them ; and no negro 
;,ct free was allowed 10 reniain m the province longer than 
six months. 

In 1 74 1 a furtlier acr was passed on the subject of Chris- 
tian servants, b}- which indented servants were meant, and 
of negro slaves, regulating their correction and punishment, 
their diet, lodging, etc. ; these matters being under the super- 
vision of the county justices. In case any Christian servant 
.should, during the time of his servitude, become diseased, 
the church wardens had to see that he was cared for. 

If any person should import a slave who had been free 
in any Ch.ristian coiuitry. such slave was to be returned to 
the country from wliich he \\as brought, and a penalty was 
fixed for the ottence. Slaves were required to remain on 
the plantation, and only one of them was allowed to have a 
gun to hunt for his master. 

In the trial of slaves other slaves could give evidence, 
but in no other cases. 


]\Iartix*s Administration,, 1771-75 

Martin's administration. — The Regulator chieftains. — Pardon 
asked. — The A.-;seinbi> meets. — Act of oblivion recommended. — The 
line between the Carolinas. — The quarrel with the governor. — The 
Assembly dissolved. — Sarah Wilson. — Purchase of Granville's lerri- 
tory proposed. — Governor Martin proposes reforms. — He confers 
with the Regulators. — The province tranquil. — Martin's view of th^ 
commotion. — The house objects to the South Carolina line. — Dis- 
agreement of the houses over James Hunter. — Fanning's losses. — 
Changes at the west. — The court bill. — The attachment clause. — 
The house resolute. — It is dissolved. — Courts by prerogative. — 
Quincy's visit. — Martin to become Granviile't agent. — Colonial af- 
fairs. — Committee of Correspondence. — The act of oblivion again 
fails. — The house affronts the governor. — The courts cease. — The 
governor seeks conciliation. — Temporary courts of oyer. — The one 
shilling tax. — Harvey urges a convention. — Continental affairs. — Tea 
destroyed at Boston. — Parliament closes the port of Boston. — The 
McDonalds come to the Cape Fear. 

Martin's administration 

!^ After the hasty departure of Governor Tryon from the 

province, at a meeting of the council held in Xew Bern on 
July I. 1771, Jame.s Hasell. the eldest councillor and the 
president of the board, assumed the administration, requir- 
ing all officials to qualify again, as if he had been appointed 

August, 1771 governor. It was not until August nth that Josiah Martin, 
the new governor, who had been detained in Xew York by 
illness, arrived at Xew Bern and entered on the discharge of 
his duties. Governor Martin, like Tryon, had been a lieu- 
tenant-colonel of the British army, but had two years earlier 
sold his commission and left the army because of ill health. 
He was just thirty-four years of age, an accomplished gen- 
tleman, a man of education, having strong connections in 
England. He had enjoyed the advantage of consultation 
with Governor Tryon at Xew York, receiving from him 
much information in regard to the local affairs of the prov- 
ince. His purpose seems to have been to continue in the 
same line of conduct Tryon had pursued. Pleased with 

C. R., X, 47 


l'ro>iii(.'nt Hascll, he took early occasion to recommend him 'i!^ 

for the positi(jn of heutenant-i!Overnor in place of Licuten- c. r., ix, 
ant-CjOvernor Mercer, who, it was rumored, had heen ap- 
pointetl to a new goverriment erected on the Ohio, but this 
jtroved to be an error, fur Lieutenant-Governor Mercer still 
remained in England, enjoying the honors if not the emolu- 
ments of his office. 

Applications were speedily made for the pardon of many 
of the leading Regulators. Husband had tied to Maryland, 
and later located in Pennsylvania. Howell also took refuge 
in Maryland, th.en moved to \'irginia. but finally returnerl 
to the home of his youth in New Jersey. Hunter, who had 
strong connections in North Carolina, after some months' 
sojourn in Maryland, returned and took up his abode among 
his people. The Assemblv favored him. as well as the county <^- ^-J^' 
courts, much to the disgust of the governor. His friends 
asked for his pardon, hut it was never formally granted, yet 
he remaineil undisturbed and was later regarded as a sup- 
porter of Governor Martin's administration. William 
Butler made his petition for pardon, saying: "It is with the 
utmost abhorrence that I reflect on the proceedings of the 
people formerly called Regidators. being fully convinced that 
tlie principles which they had espoused were erroneous, and 
therefore most sincerely promise never to do the like again." 
The friends of the "Black Bovs" in like manner petitioned c. r., ix. 
for mercy for them. Later the six convicted Regulators 
were pardoned by the king, and no other proceedings were 
instituted, although unavailing efiforts were made to capture 
Husband in his hiding place in western Maryland. 

Governor i\Lartin convened the Assemblv on Novem- ^"' 
ber 19th, being the second session of the body elected in 1770. 
Husband had been expelled, and John Pryor. the other mem- 
ber from Orange, being dead. McNair and Nash were elected 
in their stead. Thomas Person, although excluded from 
pardon by the proclamation of Governor Tryon shortly after 
the battle of Alamance, appeared and took his seat, but c.r.ix, 
Benjamin Person, one of the members from Bute, had died. '^^ 
General W'addell had been elected from Bladen Coimtv to 
fill a vacancy. There were no other notable changes in the 

39^ }[ARTi:\-S .in\[IXISTR.iriOX. 1771-75 

^ Governor Martin's openins^ address was very satisfactory 

to the A>se:nbl}-. and Maurice Moore. Samnel Johnston and 
Abner Nash were appointed a committee to prepare an 
November answcr to it. Their address was reported to the house by 
Judg'e Moore, antl it is notable in that it contains but httle 
of the laudation lavished by the council on Governor Tryon, 
althou£;h it declared that "his spirited conduct and the 
bravery of the troops in the expedition against the insur- 
gents 'leserve the acknowledgments of tiie whole country." 
Indeed, Judge ?\[oore seems to have been at points with the 
late governor, shortly after whose departure there appeared 
a letter signed " Aniens, " attributed to Judge }iloore,* 
roughly handling him and holding him ujj to ridicule. The 
liouse urged the governor to grant a general jiardon to all 
persons concerned in the insurrection except Husband, 
c. R..IX, Howell and lUitler. The omission of Hunter from this 
"** excepted li^t i-> remarkable, since he was the general of the 

insurgent forces. Governor Martin, however, thought it be- 
yond power to grant pardons, and replied that he had 
already ottered such a measure for tlie consideration of the 
king, and at a subser|uent session he informed the house that 
the king recommended it to pass a general act of pardon and 

The house proceeded to address itself to local affairs, pass- 
ing bills to establish new counties at the west, to construct a 
■''^ ~ public road from the western counties to Campbellton, to 
amend the act in relation to fees for officers, and other legis- 
jai.., 1771 lation calculated to promote the welfare of the people. Wil- 
wirmTngton. miugtou had sufi'ered by a heavy fire, and an act was passed 
Ca'roiln.i regulatiug the attairs of that town, particularly in view of 
Gazette possible conHagratious. A two-shilling tax was laid to retire 
debenture l)iHs to the amotmt of £60,000. directed to be issued 
because of the expenses incurred in the Alamance campaign. 

The line between the Carolinas 

South Carolina had desired the line between the provinces 
to be so established as to give her a large territory at the 
west. On the other hand, Governor Tryon had urged that 
the line from the Yadkin River should be extended direct 

♦Also attributed to .Abner Nash. Perhaps it was their joint work. 


to the Indian boundary, which he thoui^iht it would reach ^J^ 

scjmewliere near Reedy River. But South Carolina, claiming 
that the ori^irinal division before L>runs\vick was settled had 
been the Cajje Fear River and that when the line was run 
to the Yadkin the surveyors had erroneously allowed North 
Carolina eleven miles too much, now insisted that the boun- 
dary should be the Catawba River to its source in the moun- 
tains. The kin^. however, decreed that the line should 
follow the boundaries of the reservation allotted to the 
Catawba Indians, and then up the Catawba River to its forks, 
and from there a due west course. Such were the instruc- 
tions given to Governor Martin, who asketl for an appropria- 
tion to carrv them into etlect. The Assembly demurred, The line not 

" . , . , . , 1 -,1 satisfactory 

replymg' that it had no funds tor the purpose, and with some 
indignation it petitioned the king not to insist on that line. 
After adjournment, however. Governor ^lartin ran that line, 
much to the dissatisfaction of Xorth Carolina. It deprived the 
province of a wide lireadth of valuable territory well settled, 
for populatic^n had now extended to the mountains ; but 
notwithstanding all remonstrances, it never was altered. 
While the v/estern part oi the province was receiving these 
accessions of population, immigrants were continually arriv- 
ing at the ports, and in the winter of 1771 no less than one ^ ^ jx 
thousand Highlanders disembarked on the Cape Fear. ^ss 

The clashing over the sinking fund tax 

Among other business that the Assembly undertook was 
the passage of a new court law. But the session was brought 
to an unexpected close with that and much other business 
unfinished. Besides the act for the issue of £60,000 of Dec, 1771 
debenture notes, both houses passed a bill to issue ±120.000 
of proclamation money, wdiich the governor considered 
repugnant to the act of Parliament prohibiting the issue 
of paper currency of legal tender, and did not assent to. 
On the same day. Saturday, December 21st, a bill was The 
passed to discontinue a tax of one shilling for the sinking dbconnn-^ 
fund, which appeared to have had full operation. The "'"" 
governor was determined not to assent to that, saying that 
it was a measure teeming with fraud and inconsistent with 
the public faith. , but the leaders in the Assembly were equally 

400 MARTIX'S .iDMlXLSTRATIOX, 177^-75 

^^ determiiitHl in their resolution to relieve the people of what 

The thev reijarded an unnecessarv burden. Despite the antag- 

Assembly / *. , , - , j t • 

firm onism ot the governor, they proposed to proceed, in view 

of the fact that he would not ratify the act, the house passed 
a resolution that the tax had accomplished its purpose and 
should no longer be collected ; and that it would indemnify 
the sheriffs in not collecting- it. This was similar action to 
that taken in 1768. to which Governor Tryon objected, but 
which, notwithstanding- his objection, was successfully made 
c. R . IX, effective. On learning that this resolution had been adopted 
'^°' ''^ by the house. Governor Martin hastily commanded their 
The attendance, and before it could be entered on their journal 

dissolve'/ of proceedings he immediately dissolved the Assembly. 
Treasurer Ashe was a member of the body, as v,-ell as Treas- 
urer Montfort, who had been elected at a bye-election as 
the representative of the town of Halifax, and pursuant to 
the resolution, they omitted that tax from the sheriffs' lists. 
C.R., IX, Yi^g governor at once wrote to the treasurers, insisting 

that they direct the sheriffs to collect the tax as usual. While 
the treasurer of the northern district complied, the southern 
treasurer refused and obeyed the mandate of the Assembly. 
Thereupon the governor issued a proclamation commanding 
the sheriffs to make the collection, but his order was not 
generallv obeyed. Thus came a breach between the new 
governor and the people, on a local matter, which Governor 
Tryon always had the address to avoid. 
Sarah Duriug the course of the winter an accomplished woman, 

calling herself Lady Susanna Carolina Matilda, sister to the 
queen of Great Britain, travelled through \"irginia, being 
entertained at the houses of the gentlemen, and many had 
the honor of kissing her hand. To some she promised gov- 
ernments, to others regiments or promotions of different 
kinds in the treasury, army and navy, acting her part so 
adroitly as to levy heavy contributions on persons of the 
highest rank. At Xew Bern she received marked attention 
from Governor Martin and his wife, and at Wilmington she 
Martin, was also received with every distinction. Eventually, at 
N<^Vh'^ Charleston, where much attention was paid her, her 
uTil'j"' masquerade was discovered, and she was apprehended. Her 
name was Sarah Wilson. She had been a maid of honor. 


Having access to the royal apartments, she rifieU a cabinet 'JJ^ 

(if many valuable jewels, for which she was tried and con- 
demned to death. By an act of grace her sentence was 
softened into transportation, and she had been landed in 
Maryland during ilie precetling fall, where, as a convict, she 
was purchased by a Mr. Duval. Shortly afterward she 
elTected her escape from her master, and when at a prudent 
distance, assumed the name of the queen's sister, and for a 
brief season wore her borrowed plumage with fine effect. 

Governor Martin proposes reforms 

Governor Martin, in considering the situation of affairs 
in the province, became greatly impressed with the desir- 
ability of the Crown's purchasing Earl Granville's territory, 
which was then ottered for sale at a price between £60,000 
and i8o,ooo sterling. The quit rents in 1766 exceeded £6,000 Q""'"'^"'^ 
proclamation money. After that time the land office was 
closed, but so many settlers had seated themselves without 
grants in that domain that in 1772 it was estimated the rents 
would yield half as much morv, and could titles be obtained 
it was thought that very shortly the rents would amount to 
£12,000. Such had been the great progress of settlement. But 
as no quit rents had been paid for five or six years, and the 
accumulation of indebtedness was heavy, the tenants, even 
those who had no titles, were very apprehensive concerning 
the day of pavment. and there was a great ferment among 
them, readv to break out with violence when pavment should C- R., ix, 
be exacted. Fnr these reasons the governor urged the pur- 
chase by the king, atid the Assembly held the same view, for 
at the next session they solicited that the purchase should 
be made. 

The governor had been instructed to request for the The clerks 

Crown the power of appointing the six clerks of the 

superior court, theretofore vested in the chief justice, and he 

now urged that the thirty-four clerks of the counties, the 

appointUiCnt of whom was vested in the clerk of the pleas. 

Mr. Strudwick. should likewise be appointed bv the Crown, c r., ix, 

■ '^ - ^ J04-2C0 

These clerkships yielded the incumbents from £50 to £500 
per year, and thev paid an annual rent running from £4 to 
£40 to Mr. Strudwick. who thus received £560 per annum, 

402 M.WT/yS APMIXISTRJTIOX. it-t-t^ 

UJz ^ handsome inconie fri)ni this sinecure. Besides. Mr. Strud- 

wick was also secretary of the province, which yielded a fir- 

^^^.''^-,.f^' income. Governor Martin dwelt on the evils of this systetn. 
by which these clerkships were bestowed on the best bidd'-rs, 
not persons chosen for loyalty, intepfrity or ability, who were 
led to extortion upon the people to indemnify themselves for 
that part of the {.roriCs which they had to pay for the appoint- 
ment. W ith adroitness they manasjed the mas^istrates. who 
became confederated with them, and thus arose oppression 
and shameless conduct among tliose who ought to have been 
ministers of justice. In addition, he called attention to the 
facility with which the clerks found their way into the 
Assembly, atid, being independent of the administration, 
opposed and em1>arrassed designs for the public good. He 
■ therefore urged most strongly an improvement in the polity 

of the province by the changes he recommended. 

The governor at the west 
'77* Following the example of Governor Tryon. Governor 

^Martin proposed lo pa>s the summer at Hill^boro. De- 
parting from Xcw P.ern on Jtme 21st. with twenty persons 
accompanying him. forjming quite a cavalcade, he was more 
than ten days in making the journey, and when he 
approached Wake Court House \vas met by a number of 
gentlemen, who rode out fn^m Hillsboro to escort him to 
his residence. That summer proved so dry and the drought 
was so prevalent that there was a notable failure of crops, 
not only in western Xnrth Carolina, but in South Carolina, 
as well as to the nortluvard ; and t'-.e demand for breadstufTs 
elsewhere was so great that it became necessarv for the gov- 
ernor by proclamation to forl>id the removal of any grain 
from t!^e province. 

At Hillsboro. the 'governor was waited on l)y many of 
the Regulators, and then for the hr<t time he comprehended 
that the outlawed chiefs were so only by virtue of the 
riot act. which had then expired — and that, besides, it had 
not been ascertained by law that the proclamations had been 
]uiblished in conformity with the act. and therefore it was 
uncertain whether they were outlaws or not. Fie made a 


tour to Salisbury an«.l the Moravian settlement, and when in ^2J1 

(inilford County had a conference with large numbers of 
tiie Regulators, among them James Hunter. They all ex- c. r.. ix, 
tiressed contrition, and the governor came to entertain verv ,, . . 
(lift'orent views concerning the regulaticm movement. He views 
extended his journey to the eastward as far as Halifax, 
remarking tlie great superiority of the inhabitants of Gran- 
ville and Bute in wealth and retinement over those to the 
westward. In the course of his journey he reviewed the 
militia of Orange. Guilford, and Chatham, bringing together c.r.. ix, 
the people that he might reprehend them for tlieir past 
offences and exhort them to good behavior. 

He submitred legal questions concerning the Regulators 
to the judges and attorney-general, with a view of ascertain- 
ing their status. In the opinion of the judges, the riot act 
having expired, the people who had participated in former 
disturbances were liable only under the previous law. Antici- 
pating that there would be a general act of pardon passed c.r.. ix, 
by the Assembly, he directed that the outlaws and otliers 
should come into court and give their recognizances, which 
they accordingly did, and he had the satisfaction of report- 
ing to the Earl of Hillsborough that all coniu^irin and disor- 
der had passed away and that peace and tranquillity reigned ^^3^" ^^* 
supreme. He also reported that the commotions were pro- 
voked liy the insolence and cruel advantages taken by merce- 
nary, tricky attorneys, clerks and other little officers, who 
practised every sort of rapine and extortion, bringing upon 
themselves the just resentment of the outraged people ; and 
that they, by artful misrepresentations that the vengeance 
which the wretched people aimed at them was directed 
against the constitution, begat a prejudice against them. c. r,, ix, 
which was craftily worked up until the people were driven ^^" 
to acts of desperation. 

That the governor's heart was softened toward those who 
had been associated as Regulators was apparent, and his 
sympathies were so enlisted that he gained their good will, 
and at a later period they were easily moulded to his pur- 

404 }f.'iRTiy'S ,in.\ffXISTRAT[OX. 1771-75 

1-iTi Letter from James Hunter to William Butler 

"November 6, 1772. 

M'-rehead's "Dear Fkif.xm: Sorry I am that I have not the good fortune to 

Hunter ^-*^ \oy\. ... I took this joumey into ^laryland with no other view 

2.1 ed., 44, 45 v>ut to see you, H;irman and Howell, as I reckoned you were afraid to 

C'lme and see me: but have had the bad fortune to see none of you — 

only Howell. uh'>m I siw in .-\.ngn.-ta County, on th.e head of James 

River. I expect you have seen by this time, as he had gone 

with hi? family to the Red Stone. But I would not have you 

publish it. 

"Things have taken a mighty turn in our unfortunate country. 
This summer nur new go\eriicir has been up with us and given 
us every satisfaction wc could t-xpect of him. and has had our public 
tax settled and has found our gentry bihind in our. the public, tax, 
66.443-9 slullings, besides the parish and county tax; and I think our 
officers hate him as bad as we hated Tryon. only they don't speak so 
free. He has turned Colonel McGee out of commission for making 
complaint against outlawed men — and he has turned out every 
oflicer that ar.y complaint has been supported against. In short, I 
The out- think he has determinated to purge the countrv of them. We peti- 

lawcd men ... , , , , • i 

tiouca hun as soon a^ he came, ana when he received our petition 
he came up amongst us and sent for all the outlawed men to meet 
him at William Field'.'^, told us 't was out of his power to pardon us 
at that lime because he had submitted it to the king, and the king's 
instruction was to leave it to the governor, council and Assembly 

fj, to pardon whom they saw fit. But assured us he had given strict 
orders no man sho\i!d be hurt or meddled with on that account, 

.,, . which made u- wish for you all back again. Though some are of 
opinion Harnian will not be pardoned, I am of a different mind. The 
country petitioned tor you — upward of 3000 signers : his answer 
was that he would recommend it to the Assembly, and freely gave 
his consent that nothing might be left to keep up the quarrel. He 
came to see us the second time, and advised, for fear of ill-designing 
fellows, to go to Hillsboro and enter into recognizance till the 
J , Assembly met. which eleven of us did. He bemoaned our case and 
regretted that the indemnifying act had put it out of his power to 
give us full redress. Our enemies. I believe, would be glad to see 
you three pardoned, for some of them have gotten severely whipped 
about your being kept awny, and I think the country is as much 
master now as ever. The outlawed men since they came home are 
very ill-natured and whip them wherever they find them, and the 
governor thinks it no wonder they do not take the law of them. 
There is a great deal of private mischief done. The people want 
you back, and I think you would be quite safe, though we can be 


better assured when the A->em!ily breaks up; it sits December lotb, '77» 

when it is allowed that an indemnifying act will pass on al! sides.* 
Our governor has got Fanning to forgive the pulling down of his omtiv.ed 
house, and he has published it in print advertisements all over the "'"=" 
country. The governor has published a statement of the public 
accounts at every church and court-house in the province for seven- 
teen years back, in print, with the sheril^s' names and the sum they 
have in hand for each year, and a great many of their extortionate 
actions — a thing we never expected — to the great grief and shame of ; 

our gentry. If you should go to that far country, I wish you would 
come and see us first; and let me assure you. you need not go on 
that account. Morriss Moore and Abner Xash have been up to see 
me, to try to get me in favor again, and promised to do all they 
could for yon. and I think they are more afraid than ever. I have 
now some good nev.s to toil you. which I heard since I left home. 
I met John Husbands on hi- way to Maryland to prove his fatlier's 
debt, which the governor told him. if he would, in order to prove 
that was in his debt, he should have all his losses made up, 
and told me that }vIcCoilough was come and was in our settlement, 
and was to have a meeting at my house the next Monday by a 
message from the king. Jeremiah Fields and others had been with 
him to know w hat ;t wa-. but he refused to tell them . he came to 
my house, only said that he had tidings of the gospel of peace to 
preach to us all : and was much concerned that I was not at home. 
for he had particular business with me. I am much troubled, dear 
brother, that I had not the good fortune to communicate my tkoughts 
to you by word of mouth, for I have so much to tell you that I could 
not write it in two days. The outlawed all live on their places 
again, and. I think, as free from want as ever. I came home in ten 
months after the battle, entered a piece of vacant land adjoining my 
old place, and rented out my old place. I add no more, but subscribe 
myself your loving friend and brother suti'erer. 

"J'^MES Hunter. 
"P.S. — Your friends are all well and desire to be remembered 
to you." 

John Harvey speaker 

A new Assembly, the members of which had been elected Jan., 1773 

in the spring, was prorogued to December, and then to 

January iSth following, but the attendance being small, the 

session did not begin until the 25th. Because of Speaker 

Caswell's action in relation to the resolve forbiddinc: the c. r.. ix, 

*C. R.. IX. 877. Act of indemnity disallowed by home govern- 


12J2 collection of the one shilling tax. Earl Hillsborough ha^i 

directed Governor Martin not to assent to Caswell's election 

as speaker, sh.ould the house again elect him. Hut now Jcdm 

- Harvey was once more in his seat, and at Caswell's instance 

■ ■ ■ he was unanimously chosen speaker, Caswell himself having 

fixed his e}-e on the southern treasuryship. The session 
opened witli every appearance of good will between the 
governor and the Assembly, and at once the house addressed 
itself to the passage of a large number of necessary bills. 
During the session the rol^es for the speakers and the 
maces having arri^•e(!. the treasurers were directed to pro- 
■ vide suitable robes for tlie dioorkeepers and mace bearers ; 
and there was some disposition to liave triennial assemblies, 
conformably to the law in England. 

The governor communicated to tlie Assembly the cost of 
''■■:• running the line from tlie Cata\vba nation to th.e mountains, 

but that body refused to pay it, saying that the line was 
c. K.. i.K. ^ very obiectionable : that it was run in the interest of South 
=".303. 375 Carolina, and that this province v,-ouid bear no part of the 
expense. It M'as dcclarefl t'nat a million acres of land had 
been taken from the province, on which were located many 
settlers ; that a large part of Tryon County had been thrown 
into South Carolina, and the sheriit of Tryon County had 
■■• to be relieved because of the arrears of the taxes which he 
had not collected. Notwithstanding the indignant remon- 
strance of the last house, the governor now communicated 
• ' that any respectful petition would be considered by the 

■ ■ ■ ' king, and the house directed its Committee of Correspon- 

dence to require the agent to urge another line on the king's 

Act of oblivion defeated 

There were echoes of the regulation movement. Many 
''■ ■ were the applications for allowances because of the expense 

suffered in connection witli Tryon's march. Among those 
allowed bv the house was the payment of i^^J to William 
c. R.. IX, Y^y^r for the destruction of his wheat and rye field by 
Tryon's horses and cattle. An act of oblivion })eing pro- 
posed, among those excepts I from its operation in the coun- 
cil were James Hunter. Samuel Devinny. and Xinian Bell 


I laniilton. In the house these names were oniiltecl from the ^^ 

I'xccptcd hst. and the bill fell because the council would not 
CMiicur with the house in granting pardon to Hunter. 

Edmund Fanning had left the province and returned to Fanning 
Xew York. His attorneys had been directed to institute 
suit against those who had destroyed his house and prop- 
erty. But Governor xvlartin, fearing that this proceeding 
would revive animosities and produce some disturbance, 
prevailed on Fanning to abandon his actions at law and rely c. r . ii, 
on the justice of the Assembly. Flis claim was for £1.500. -^"' ''^' 
The amount was moderate, but the house refused to pay 
it. saying that it could not appropriate public funds' for 
[irivate purpose^ ; and although some discontent might arise 
from his suits, it would be local, Vv'hile the inhabitants of 
the whole province would object to having the public money 
used that way. 

This being the session for the election of treasurers, c. r., ix, 
Montfort was re-elected for the northern district, but by "'^* 
means which Ashe's friends hotly denounced as unjust, 
he was defeated by Casvvxll. 

Changes at the west 

The development oi the western section led to efforts to 
furnish the inliabitams of the interior needed facilities for 
transportation. At the little village of Charlotte, Queen's charlotte 
College had been established, although the act was dis- 
allowed because it vested in the trustees the right of appoint- 
ing the master. Xow a bill was passed to make it the 
county seat of Mecklenburg, but this. too. was rejected, as 
it contained provisions relating to other subjects of legis- 
lation. But in view of its growing importance, a highway 
was ordered to be built from Charlotte to Bladen. 

On the Cape Fear, the hamlet of Cross Creek found a c.mpbeii- 
rival in Campbellton. less than a mile distant. Campbellton 
had become the mart of the northwestern counties, and a 
road was directed to be constructed from it to Dan River ; 
also, in the superior court bill, it was proposed to discontinue 
the court at Hillsboro and attach Orange and Granville to 
the Halifax district, while Cr.atham and other counties were 
grouped in a new circuit, the court to be held at Campbellton. 






C. R., IX, 


The sale of 

S R.. 
XXIII, 872 



C. R., IX, 


The hills 

C. R.,IX, 


The court bill 

The Assembly, in committee of the whole, directed that 
a new court bill be drawn, providing for both superior and 
inferior courts; for the retention by the chief justice of tiie 
power to appoint the superior court clerks : and prohibitincf 
the clerk of the pleas from selling or disposing of any county 
clerkship for any gratuity or reward whatsoever, and mak- 
ing any clerk who should give any gratuity or reward for 
his clerkship incapable of holding the office. 

The council souglit to amend this bill in various par- 
ticulars. While agreeing that there should be no sale of a 
clerkship, it proposed to allow the clerk of the pleas to 
reserve a proportion of the fees to himself; and especially, 
because of the king's commands, it desired an amendment 
that in all cases of attachment, where the defendant resided 
in Europe, the proceedings should be stayed one year. The 
house refused to concur, and the council finally passed the 
bill, but with a clause suspending its operation until it 
should be approved by the king. The old court laws, how- 
ever, were about to expire, and some inmiediate pro\isioii 
for maintaining a judicial system was imperatively neces- 
sary. Under this stress, two other bills were at once intro- 
duced, with the view of continuing the former laws in force 
for six months, and until the next session of the assembly. 
In the council both of these bills were so amended as to 
exempt from attachment the landed property of persons 
who were not residents of the province, and requiring 
twelve months' notice to the debtor. This was an innova- 
tion in the law and usage which had ever prevailed in the 
province, and as it would be attended with great incon- 
venience, often resulting in the defeat of justice, the house 
refused to concur. The action of the council was. however, 
in conformity with the governor's instructions, and in the 
contest much heat was evolved. Finally the council, con- 
tent with defeating the superior court bill, passed that 
continuing the inferior courts: but the governor was not 
so complacent, and he refused his assent even to that 
measure. Thus neither bill became a law. while the general 
act. passed earlier in the session, could have no operation 
until the kine had Hven his assent. And so it was that 


the conting-oncy had arrived upon which on the adjourn- ^'j 

nicnt of the Assembly the entire jucHcial system of the 
province v»as to fall. \\'ith hot animosity, the house, appeal- Noc-u;ts 

\n^ to the judprnient of mankind, passed a resolution that 581 

there should be published in the gazettes copies of the .crov- 
ernor's instructions and of the various communications 
between the two houses, so that their conduct could be fully 

On the day this action was taken. March 6th, the g^ov- March. 1773 
ernor having rejected the inferior court bill and sixteen 
others of less importance, prorogued the Assembly until 
the 9th, hoping by this act of discipline to bring the members ^^^^ 
into a frame of mind more compliant with his wishes. But Assembly 
the members had equal resolution, and, u])on the proroga- c. r., ix. 
tion, niost of them returned to their homes; and although ^'^'* 
fifteen, with the speaker, appeared on the 9th, and the 
governor and council urged that, under the royal instruc- 
tion given twenty years earlier, fifteen constituted a quorum, 
Speaker Harvey communicated to the governor that the 
members present would not make a house unless there 
should be a majority in attendance ; and that he not only 
had no expectation of the arrival of other members, but 
those then at New Bern were preparing to depart. The c. r.. ix, 
house had refused to obey the governor. Xothing was left ^'^ 
but its immediate dissolution, and writs were at once i>sued 
for the election of new meinbers, the Assembly to be held 
on May ist. 

Prerogative courts 

Without any laws providing for courts or juries, or direct- 
ing how jurors should be drawn, with at least the nrdinarv 
number of criminals in jail, and a necessitv existing to 
enforce the criminal laws for the preservation of peace and 
order, Governor Martin now bethought himself of his 
authority, under the king's prerogative, to establish courts c. r., ix. 
of oyer and terminer, and on March i6th appointed Maurice ^'' 
JMoore and Richard Caswell commissioners, together with 
the chief justice, to hold such courts. During the summer 
they were held in several of the counties under the order 
of the governor. 

4IO ^[AR'nX•S ADMlXISTR.iriOy, I77J-7S 

'SH Governor Martin haviui:,- tlie previous year visited the 

western counties, now spent some time in tlie Albemarle 
section, and likewise in the counties borderin.q- on South 
Carolina; and in his report of these journeys he spoke 
favorably of the fertility of the soil and the prosperous 
condition of the people. 

Quincy's visit 

The policy of the mini'^try and of Parliament in regard to 
the colonies had been a source of continual irritation, 
especially with the more commercial communities of the 
north : and in their plans for resistance the 'Massachusetts 
leaders deemed it expedient to have the united support of 
all the inliabitants of Aiuerica. To this end. earlv in 1773, 
610 ■' " ' Josiah Ouincy passed through Nordi Carolina, seeking to 
establish a plan of continental correspondence, which the 
X'irginia A>^embly iiad. reconimended. At Wilmington he 
dined with about cwent}- persons at Mr. William Hcoper's, 
and spent r'le nigiit with Cornelius Harnett, whom he char- 
sctcrizo.v. ai "'tiic Ijaniuel .Vdanis of Xortli Cap-lina." He 
mentioned in his di^iry : "Roi^crt Howe. Harnett and myself 
made the social triumvirate of the evening. The plan of 
continental correspondence, highly relished, much wished for 
and resolved upon as proper to be pursued.". He Avas sur- 
prised to hnd that '•tl;e present state of Xorth Carolina is 
really curious: tliere are but five provincial laws in force 
thr.-)ugh the C'.lon\-. and no courts at all in being." 
land ..'ffice^ Earl Granvillc being now desirous of having his terri- 
openc (^^.j-,^. (^.^j-g,! j.,j._ ottered to make Governor IMartin his acent. 

and tlie governor submitted the matter to Earl Hillsborough 
and received permission to undertake that emplovment "in 
addition to his other duties. Granville's land office had 
been closed for several years. 

During the summer the governor received instructions 
from the king disallowing the court law passed at the last 
session, but allowing attachments in a modified form. He 
had determined nut to convene tlie Assembly until he had 
received these instructions, and prorogued it from time to 
time until the last of Xovember. when the new house met, 
again electing Harvey as speaker. 


Colonial affairs ^-_-_k 

hnir.ediatch' on its asseniblinr. Speaker Harvev laid c.r.. ix. 
l.icfure the nouse resolutions received from other colonies, Nov., 1773 
and a committee, composed of Joiinston, Howe, and Har- 
nett, was appointed to prepare appropriate answers. Among 
the^e resolutions were those of the \'irginia Assembly of 
March 12th proposing- a Committee of Correspondence, in c r,ix, 
which the house concurred, an.i it appointed eight members 
at a standing Committee of Correspondence, with directions 
to obtain tiie most earlv and authentic intelligence of the 
ministry's plan.s I'lat related to the colonies ; and. partic- 
ularly were th.ey required to repoit on a court of inquiry 
latel\' held m Rhode Island, with powers to transmit persons 
accused of ufTences to places beyond seas for trial. This 
action — the appoiiriment of committees of correspondence — 
was the first step in the path that led to the union of the 
C('>lonies. It was significant of a purpose of co-operation, 
and as time passed and event followed event, tlie bands of 
union were forged and the colonies became welded together , . ;; 
in an indissoluble confederacy. 

The house informed Governor Martin that m its opinion Prerogative 

• courts 

lie could not erect court? of oyer and terminer w ithout the ovennrown 
concurrence of the legislature, and that it would make no 
provision for defraying the expenses of the courts he had 
instituted. Samuel Johnston was tlie leaddns: spirit in tlie c. r.. x. 
Asseml)Iy. He was pronounced against courts of prerog- 
ative and the house v.-as unanimous in its action. Neces- 
sarily the system fell and the courts ceased. New bills were 
brought in for the establishment of courts, and for pardon 
and oblivion for the Regulators, and to discontinue the poll 
tax of one shilling. The council, however, objected to the 
first, insisting that it should be drawn conformably to the 
kmg's instructions, to which the house would not agree; nor 
did it act on tlie other measures. 

The act of oblivion again fails 

On December 21st the governor sent a verbal message 
requiring the immediate attendance of the house at his palace. 
Before cuniplying. tiie house hastily passed a resolution 
appointing a committee, composed of the speaker and seven 




The aid of 



C R., IX. 


C. R. 



No courts 

ill the 


C. R.. IX, 


March, 1774 

C. R., IX, 


S. R.. 

XXIII, q3i 

court law 

Other members, to prepare an address to the kinq^ on the 
subject of the court law, particularly relative to attachments, 
and to address Governor Tryon requestmg him to convey 
the same to his Majesty, and "support our earnest solicita- 
tions with his interest and influence, and that he will accept 
of this important trust as testimony of the great affection 
this colony bears him, and th.e entire confidence tliey repose 
in him." Governor Martin having found the temper of the 
Assembly so firm in its opposition to liis measures, prorogued 
it until March ist, and the session closed without the passage 
of a single act. 

When the governor learned of the address to Governor 
Tryon. of Xew York, his mortification was unbounded, his 
pride having received a severe blow, which he considered 
extremely undeserved ; but he suppressed his anger and still 
pursued a persuasive policy. 

The governor's prerogative courts having suddenly fallen, 
there were in March, when the A-sembly met again, 
neither criminal nor civil courts in existence. Tlie governor 
made anc^ther earnest appeal for conciliation, and it was pro- 
posed as a temporary measure of relief that there should be 
three acts passed, one establishing courts of justice, one 
relating to foreign attachments, and one relating to the fee 
bill of 1748. On these measures, for the first time, the yea> 
and nays were entered on the house journals. The house 
refused to assent by large majorities, all the leading mem- 
bers voting in the negative. 

The house having again passed a court bill, which the 
governor felt it his duty to reject, temporary acts were 
passed to establish courts of oyer and terminer and inferior 
courts, to last for one year, and then until the next session 
of the Assembly, to which he gave a reluctant assent. The 
friction between the Assembly and the governor was indeed 
pronounced, for the assemblymen were immovable, and not- 
withstanding Governor Martin was conciliatory to the last 
degree, vet he was bound by his positive instructions and 
could not meet the views of the popular leaders. On 
iMarch 24th he prorogued the body until May 25th. But 
before its adjournment the house again resolved that the 
one shilHnir tax should not be collected. This was more 


than the spirit of the governor could brook, and now giving '^-• 

icin to his wrath and indignation, he immediately issued his cr.. ix,"" 
proclamation dissolving the Assembly with marks of his ^^^ 
censure and disapprobation. The original act having been The 
passed by the three several constituents composing the legis- dSed' 
lative body, the governor held that the house "had assumed 
the dangerous pov.-er of dispensing with the positive laws of 
the country, and that it was a political enormity to abrogate 
a solemn and important law by its single veto." ' The session, Courts of 
however, was not without avail, for provision was made for terminef 
establishing inferior courts and criminal courts : of the latter, 
Alexander Martin and Francis Xash were the judges of the 
Salisbury and Hillsboro districts, respectively. So much at 
least had been accomplished. 

But this very important act was defective. It was cer- s. r.. 
tainly badly drawn. Governor :\rartin assented to it with ^^^^^'^*^ 
great reluctance, and always spoke of it contemptuously. 
Under his instruction? he could not assent to such a general c. r..ix, 
court law as the Assembly insistef! on, but because of the "^ 
deplorable situation, in the absence of any courts of criminal 
jurisdiction, he gave his assent to this temporary act. which 
had been hastily pas-ed by the Assembly. It authorized the 
governor to commission the chief justice to hold courts of 
oyer and terminer and general jail delivery, and to appoint 
two other persons resident in each district to hold the courts 
of their districts in the absence of the chief justice, but by 
inadvertence the powers conferred on th.ese judges were not 
those probably intended, the draftsmen being unskilled. 
Chief Justice Howard left North Carolina for the summer, 
and James Hasell appointed chief justice in his stead. 
The summer terms were to be held in June and July and the 
winter terms in December and January. When the court ^'°°'-= 
convened at W'ilm.ington, at the close of Julv, Maurice Moore t.'uas," ' 
raised objections because of the defects in the act and in the ■^"'*' '^'* 
commission of the judge. Moore had been on the bench in 
Governor Tryon's time, and had been appointed by Gov- 
ernor Martin one of the judges of his prerogative courts, 
which the Assembly had repudiated, as being illegal and 
unconstitutional. The destruction liy the Assembly of the 
court of which he was a judge on the score of illegality and 

4T4 MARTix'S .in]fix[S'rR.iTio?:, T771-75 


C. R., X, I 

''JT* iinconstitiitioriality seem.s to have inflamed the deposed 

McRee's jurist. who had lield his honors by the appointment of the 
governor, and now v.-ith zest he made his !e.<;al exceptions 
to the constitution of the Assembly's court, "very indecently 
reflecting upon the legislature, happy in the weakness of 
the judge." Because of his strictures, the court adjourned. 
Nevertheless, these courts continued to be held, at least in 
some if not all the districts, until the summer of 1775. 

Harvey urges a convention 

The condition of the province, although in the absence of 
courts there were fewer disorders than mii;ht have been 
anticipated, was. in 1774. a fruitful source of grave alarm 
to thoug:htful citizens. Somt^hing. they said, must be done 
to save the country from, anarchy. Biggleston, the gov- 
ernor's secretary, mentioned to Speaker Harvey that the 
governor did nut intend ti3 convene another Asscml^ly until 
he saw some chance rif a belter one than the last. Promptly 
Harvey replied that tlie people then would convene one them- 
selver.. On the nig!:t of April 4, 1774. a week after the 
dis-^olution of the Assembly. Harvey and Johnston passed 
the night with Colonel Buncombe, and Blarvey was "in a 
verv violent nvud. and declared he was for assembling a 
convention independent of the governor, and urged upon us 
to co-operate with him." He declared that he would lead 
the wav and "i^sue h.and-bills under his own name, and that 
the Committee of Correspondence ought to .c:o to work at 
once." Such a proceeding was not unknown. It had been 
resorted to once, years before, in ^Massachusetts, but now it 
was a revolutionary movement and was a bold departure. 
Harvey had already spoken of it to Willie Jones, who prom- 
ised to exert himself in its favor, and now Johnston wrote to 
Hooper on the subject, and asked him to speak to Harnett 
and Ashe and other leaders on the Cape Fear. 

Continental affairs 

But not only were the afiairs of the province then acute, 
continental matters also were agitating the people. The 
agreement of the colonies not to give their assent to any 
law taxing \mcrica had led to the disuse nf taxed tea, 
large quantities of v.hich lay stored in the English ware- 

April, 1774 

OR., IX, 


li.)use> of the East India Company. To counteract this, U.'!:! 

TarUanient allowed tlie export of teas from Eni^land with- 
out the former export dut\-, so that th.c teas, even after 
paving- the American tax. could be sold at a cheaper price. 
W'idi the hope of speedy sales, the East India Company l^^^^^^^ 
shipped cargoes to Xew York, Philadelphia, Charleston and 
L')0>ton. Those for tlie two former ports were returned to 
London. At Charleston the tea was unloaded, but stowed 
av;ay in cellars tmsold. At Boston, where a considerable 
illicit trade in tea was carried on by Hancock and other 
niercliants. whicli tliey did not wish interfered with, thej^ov- 
crnment insisted, that the tea should be landed and sold. To December 
prevent this, a numlier of the inhabitants, disguised as 
Indians, on tl-e nicrht oi December i8th boarded the ships, ^i;^ g^ton 
broke open the chests and emptied the tea into the harbor. Teap.irty 
Information of this proceeding caused great excitement in 
England. Amierican affairs engrosse<l the attention of Par- 
liament. Four acts were passed. By the first the port of 
Bostun closed, to take effect on June 4th. the custom 
house being transferred to Salem. By the second the charter EngUnd" 
of Massachusetts was a1)rogatcd and town meetings, except 
for elections, declared unlawfr.l. Bv the third all officers Boston 

._ closed, 

of the Crown, in case of indictment, were to be sent to Eng- June 4. 1774 
land for trial. The f'^'urth related to the quartering of c. r., ix. 
soldiers on the colorues. ^^'hile these measures, amied di- 
rectly at the old colonies, excited indignation, a fifth, respect- 
ing the go\ ernment of th-e new province of Quebec, 
occasioned even greater ap{)rehension. In that, every limi- Quebec 
tation of the constitution was disregarded. The legislative '^'^^ 
power was vested in a council appointed by the Crown. 
Roman Catholicism was establi.shefl as the state religion. 
Roman CathoHo were eligil)le to office. There was to be 
no writ of hal.>eas corpus. The French civil law, without 
jury trials, was ordained ; and the bounds of the province 
were extended south to the r>hio and west to the ^Mississippi, 
hedging in the northern colonies. If charters could be abro- 
gated, government bv general assemblies abolished, Protes- 
tantism su].)planted by Catholicism and the writ of habeas 
corpus ignoredi. America OAved her liberties only to the 
sutterance of her nvasters. 



L'nder the changing condition there was to be a conflict 
between the colonies and the mother country was apparent, 
and in view of it the king regarded with apprehension the 
v.-onderful growth of the colonies, and sought to checi< the 
removal of his subjects from Great Britain to his American 
dominions. Thus, in 1772, after James ^IcDonald and his 
associates of the Isle of Skye. proposing to settle in North 

C.R., IX, ^''^'■^''''"a- 'la^ petitioned for an allotment of forty thousand 

303 ■' ' ' acres cf land, the request was refused on the ground tiiat too 
many }3ritish subjects were removing to tlie colonies. Mc- 
Donald w as the head of that large and intluential connection 
of wliich Flora McDonald was a member — that; admirable 
woman v/hose picru.resque career has given her a unique dis- 
tinction among her sex. Xotwitlistanding this refusal, the 

Arrival of MoDoualds did not relinquish their pr.roose but continued 
their preparations to join the stream ot Scotchmen who were 

CR., IX, migrating to the Cape Fear. In the spring of 1774 three 
hundred families came from the Highlands: and although 
the king in February of that year gave instructions which 
virtually closed his land oifices and withdieu hib land from 
entry, yet in tlie following winter some eight hundred other 
Scotchmen disembarked at Wilmington. Among them were 
the McDonalds. Flora and her husband, Allan, lifter a brief 
sojourn at Cross Creek, resided temporarily at Cameron 
<:> --i Hill, near I'.arbecue Church, some twenty miles to the north- 
■! ward of Campbellton. and then located in Anson County.* 

*At Wilmington the inhabitants gave Flora McDonald a public 
reception and l>ail : she was received at Cross Creek uith great 
demonstration, martial music and the strains of the pibroch. 


Martin's Administration, 1771-75 — Continued. 

Organized resistance. — Tlie Committee of Correspondence. — Will- 
iam Hooper. — The Wilmington meeting. — The cause of Boston 
the cause of all. — Parker Quince. — The first convention. — The 
counties organize. — Governor Martin's proclamation. — The conven- 
tion held. — The resolution. — Non-importations. — Tea not to be used. 
— The revolutionary government. — Comnuttees of Safety. — In- 
structions to delegates. — Governor Martin's attitude. — Goes to 
Nev/ York. — The Continrntal Congress. — The revolution pro- 
gresses. — Cornelius Harnett. — The Edenton tea party. — Governor 
^larcin returns. — The Transylvania colony. — The second convention 
called. — Procet dings on the Cape Fear. — John Ashe. — Robert Howe. 
— The Regulators disaffected. — The Highlanders. — Enrolled Loyal- 
ists. — The Assembly and the Convention. — John Harvey presides. — 
The American Association signed. — The governor's address. — The 
bouse replies resolutely. — The .-^ ■:>fuibly dis.solvcd. — The last appear- 
ance of Harvey. — North Carolina at court. — Thomas Barker. — 
Governor Tryon. — North Carolina favored. — The battle of Lexing- 
ton. — Martial spirit aroused. — The governor questioned by Nash. 
— He is alarmed. — The negro instirrection. — He seeks refuge at 
Fort Johnston. 

Organized resistance 

To the (li-^satisfiec! colonists was imputed by the advisers 
of the king, from the very beginning' of the controversy, a 
purpose to sever their connection with the mother country ; 
but while that idea doubtless occurred to the minds of philo- 
sophic sttiflents as a remote possibility, it was n(.)t at all enter- 
tained by the people at larg'e. who, born British subjects, 
had neither inclination nor purpose to chancre that relation. 
Anions^ those who were castin.c their eye to the future was c.r., ix, 
William Hooper. Writing: April 26. 1774, to James Iredell, 
he said : ''The colonies are striding: fast to independence, and 
ere long will build an empire upon the ruins of Great Brit- 
ain," but yet he was not agitating for a separation at that 

The plan proposed bv Harvey for the people to convene 
an assembly did not at once inaterialize ; but when the port 


4i8 MARTIX'S ADMi XfSTRATIOX. irrr-;. 

^774 of Bo.-ton was closed, in North Carolina as in every other 

part of America, there was a storm of indignation ; and the 
proposition was revived. 

s. R., XI. On June 9th the Committee of Correspondence received 

'*^' '* sundrv letters and papers from the northern colonies respect- 

ing the oppressive proceedings against Boston. These, the 
next day, they sent forward to tlie cnmmittce of South 

J""^ Carolina, saying that they could only express their indi- 

vidual sentiments, but believed that the inhabitants of the 
whole province concurred with them ; that they thought that 

Thec.iuseof j.|,g prnvincc ought to consider the cause of Boston as the 

Bost.K the I ^ . _ 

cause jf all cause of America: that they should concur and co-operate m 
measures agreed on by their sister colonies ; that it was 
expedient tliat deputies should lie appointed to adoi)t 
measures ; and that if assemblies could not meet, they should 
pursue the laudable example of the of burgesses in 
\'irginia — meet and form associations and put a stop to all 
commercial intercourse with Great Britain. 

Some ten davs later, on June 21st. the committee replied to 
the communication from \'irginia. expressing the same senti- 
ments as in their letter to South Carolina. Agreeing to the 
call of a general congress, they said : "As this cannot be 
effected but liy a convention of the representatives of the 
M.>vemer.t several provinces, we think that the conduct pursued by the 
convention latc representatives of \'irginia is worthy of imitation when 
the crovernors shall decline to convene the people in their 
legislative caj^acity. . . . Should not our Assembly meet 
on Jidy 26th. to which time it now stands prorogued, we shall 
endeavor in some other manner to collect the representatives 
of the people." These communications were signed by John 
Harvey. Edward \'ail. Robert Howe, John Ashe, Joseph 
Hewes. Sam Johnston, Cornelius Harnett and William 

Hooper was especially concerned for the distresses of his 
kinspeople and friends, among whom he had !ieen reared at 
Boston, and doubtle.'-s was a moving spirit in subsequent 
proceedings: but the general sentiment that tb.e time 
come for action shared bv Harvey and the other mem- 
bers of the Committee of Correspondence, and doubtless by 
the inhabitants generallv. 


(jovernor .Martin, having on March 30th dissolved the ^ 

Assonibiy, the next day issued writs for an election of 
new members, but informed the Earl of Dartmouth that he 
did not propose another meeting of the Assembly until the 
fail. And so the contingency arose requiring action by the 
ix'Ople in their own behalf. On Tulv 21st the inhabitants of c. r., ix, 
the district ot W ilmington held a general meeting, at which 
William Hooper presided as chairman, the purpose being to 
j'repare the way for a convention of the people.* At that 
meeting a resolution was adopted appointing eight gentle- 
men of the Cape Fear to prepare a circular letter to the 
counties of the province, urging that deputies should be sent "^ 

' .-N .-» I convention 

to attend a general convention at Johnston Court House on called 
August 20th to adoi)t measures that would avert the miseries 
threatening the colonies ; and a resolution was adopted ex- 
pressing concurrence in holding a continental congress on 
September 20th. The voice of the meeting was ""that we 
consider the cause of the town of Boston the common cause 
of British America." 

Already the distresses of the indigent inhal)itants of the 
closedi port, whose business and industries ^^'ere arrested and 
whose workmen were without employment, had appealed to 
the sympathies of the people of the Cape Fear, and liberal Conmbu- 
contributions of money and. provisions had been made, the bo" 
ladies equally with the men manifesting their sympathy by 
generous donations. Parker Quince, a patriotic merchant, 
tendered his vessel to transport these contributions, himself 
going to deliver them. And now the meeting suggested that 
other communities should make a similar demonstration of 
their sympathetic and {patriotic interest. 

At once Xorth Carolina resounded again with the cry 
of '"Liberty and Property." ^leetings were held in various 
communities and provisions, contribtited alike on the sea- 
board and in the interior, were sent to Boston bv F.denton, 
\\ ilmington and Xew Bern ; and the counties responde<l with 
ardor to the circular letter of the Wilmington committee. 
The meeting finally fixed to be at Xew Bern on 
August 25th. Every county except Edgecombe, Guilford, 

^Governor Suain. in Appleton's Cyclopedia, attributed this move- 
n\crd largely to John .Ashe. 

tions Sent to 

420 MARTIX'S .IPMlXlSTRATlOy. 1771-75 

^27lt Hertford. Surry, and Wake was represented by deputies 

selected at meetings of freeholders, the members of the 
Assembly being for the most part chosen as representatives 
in the convention. At these county meetings patriotic reso- 
lutions were adopted and committees of correspondence 
were appointed, which became the first nucleus of the power 
and authority of the respective C(mTmunities in the manage- 
ment of local affairs in antagonism with the established 
The voices The iliscussjnns by James Iredell, Judge Moore and others, 
counties '\\\ tlie public pHUts and elsewhere, of the constitutionality of 
tlie courts by prerogative, which had been repudiated by 
the Assemblv that spring, had brought forward anew the 
basic principles of the constitution, which now found ex- 
pression in tlie declarations of the counties. The people of 
Pitr resolved '"that as the constitutional assembly of this 
colony are prevented from exercising their rights of pro- 
viding for the security of the liberties of the people, that 
, , right again reverts to the people as the foundation from 
whence all power and legislation flow." A clearer declara- 
tion of the sovereignty of the people and the sanction of 
govern;nent had not theretofore been made. Echoes of the 
same fundaniental principles are to be found in most of the 
proceedings, and generally it was declared " it is the 
c. R., IX, first law of legislation and of the British constitution that no 
'°^° man be taxed but by his own consent, expressed by himself 

• i,, or by his legal representatives." 

The resolves of Rowan contained a further sentiment : 

C.R., IX, "That the African trade is injurious to this colonv. obstructs 
1010 ... . ' 

the population of it bv freemen, prevents manufacturers and 

other useful emigrants from Europe from settling among us 
and occasions an annual increase of the balance of trade 
against the colonists ;" and "that to be clothed in manu- 
factures fabricated in the colonies ought to be considered 
as a badge and distinction of respect and true patriotism." 

The freeholders of Granville resolved : "That those abso- 
lute rights we are entitled to as men. by the immutable laws 
of nature, are antecedent to all social and relative duties 
uhatsoever ;" and "that by the civil contract subsisting be- 
tween our king and his people, allegiance is the right of 

C. R., IX 



the first inao-i.strate and protection the right of the people: ^1;^ 

tliat a violation of this compact would rescind the civil insti- 
tution bind.iii.!? both kins: and people too^ether." The very 
frame and foum.lation of civil c^overnment had been exam- 
ined and was then declared. The common sentiment f<>und 
expression in the Granville resolutions: "Blessed with free- 
.loni. we will cheerfully knee the throne erected by our 
fathers, and kiss the sceptre they taught us to reverence." yet 
"as freemen we can be bound by no law but such as we a<-cnt 
to, either bv ourselves or our representatives. I hat we de- 
rive a right'from our charters to enact laws for the regulation 
oi our internal policy of government, which reason and 
justice confirm to us, as we must know wdiat civil institutions 
are best suited to our state and circumstances." 

The springs of patriotism were yielding now the first 
streams that, uniting and swelling, in the course of time 
became the mighty current that swept America into the 
slormv seas of revolution. 

On' August 1 2th Governor Martin, greatly concerned at ^j,J-^^- 
the proposed revolutionary congress, convened his council 
and issued his proclamation enjoining all of his Majesty's 
subjects from attending any illegal meetings, and command- 
ing everv officer in the province to aid and assist in dis- 
couraging and preventing them: and especially in prevent- 
ing the proposed meeting of deputies at New Bern. But 
nevertheless the convention was held, and the governor had ^„.^■'^^• 
the mortification of observing that all the members of his 
council except Tames Hasell freely mixed with the members, 
giving them aid and countenance, and apparently being in 
full sympathy with them. 

At the meeting of August 25th* John Harvey was chosen Aug. 25,1774 
moderator. Hewes. one of the standing Committee of Cor- 
respondence appointed by the last Assembly. ])resentcd let- 
ters received by that committee from the other colonies, and 
it was thereupon resolved to appoint three delegates to attend 
the general congress to be held at Philadelphia. There was 
much rivalry among some of the members to secure these 
appointments. Wiliiam Hooper, who was one of the leading c.^^-^x. 
members and to whose pen the resolutions adopted by the 

*A similar convention was held by Virginia on .\ugu3t ist. 

422 MARTI X'S .niMfXISTRATlOX, 1771-75 

^2Jt convention are attributed, was the first selected, and wirli 

him were Jo^epii Hewcs and Richard Caswell. 

Ti.cdeie- Perhaps rcnienil)ering- how Parliament had yielded to tiie 

Co' denia'-ids of the colonists and their friends in Great Britain 

c.jngrcis eighl vears earlier, the provincial leaders may have con- 

i . ^ ,- ceived that now similar influences would a^rain prevail, and 

that the mission of deputy to the .c^eneral conc^ress would he 

on!\- a temporary emijloyment. Tims it may he that f'lr 

pers':inal reasons this honorable post was particularly sou,!;ht 

bv those selected — Hooper, deeply interested on lielialf of his 

Boston kindred ; Hewes, larg-ely concerned in his mercantile 

firm at Philadelphia: and ("asv/cll. desirous of revisitinc^ his 

Old home in Maryland weariui:;- the hi.s^h honors he had won 

c. R., IX, in Carolina. But in any aspect, the selections were well 

'^' made. Thev were amor.c: the foremost men of the province, 

'.• ' possessincr abilities enuai to the station. Oi the lofty devo- 

- V •. • . tion of Hooper and Hewcs there Oinil'l be no doubt; and 

although Governor Martin conceived the idea that Caswell 

was going- with the current his inclinations and iudg- 

'■ ; ■ meiit. vet he. too. gave every pledge of fievotion and zeai, 

. : urging his son to take his musket and. exposing the secrets 

of hi- heart, declared that he would shed his last blood "in 

C.R., IX. support of the Hberties of my country." That Caswell sprang 

"^° at once into the group of the most influential leaders and 

made a lasting impression on his associates in the Conti- 

'h r nental Congress is beyond question. Indeed, it is to be 

doubted whether any other colony sent a delegation of 

superior merit to that !,>ody. whose amazing excellence ex- 

■ ■ . ' ^ !' torted the admiration of the world! 

The Declaring themselves "his ^Majesty's most dutiful and 

mtoierabie j^^^.^| subjects,"' the cleputics entered into resolutions of the 
most positive character. They asserted that any act of Par- 
liament imposing a tax on the colonies was illegal and un- 
constitutional ; that the Boston port act was a cruel infringe- 
ment r,f the rights of the people: that the act regulating 
tliat province v/as an infringement of the charter: that the 
bill empowering governors to send persons to Great Britain 
for trial will tend to produce frequent bloodshed. And in 
the wav of enforcing a redress of grievances, the convention 
resolved that after January i, 1775. they would import or 


!,iiv iicitlicr East India goods nor j^oods of British manu- 'i^ 

l.icturo ; nor would tb.ey export any products of the countr\- ; ^■;';;;^'"p°'' 

ror ^I'.nuld anv slaves be imported or brought into the prov- 

nioe: and after September loth tliey would not suffer any 

I'".;ist India tea to be used in their families. but wouUl consider 

all persons not complying with this resolve as enemies of the Retaiiatoir 



The revolutionary government 

The convention then laidi the foundatii)n for a revolution- 
I'.rv government by providir.g that at every future meeting 
ihe counties and towns shall be represented, and recom- 
mended that a committee of five should be chosen in each C.R., ix, 
count V to take care that the resolves of the congress should 
be properly observed, and to act as a committee of corre- 
•>pondence. These later became known as Committees of 

The convention gave directions to the deputies to the gen- 
eral congress based on an unchangeable purpose to defend 
tlitir persons and property again-t all imconstitutional en- 
'.T(_>achments. and authorized them to enter intii an agree- 
ment that until there should be an explicit tleclaration and 
acknowledgment oi colonial rights, there should be a cessa- 
tion of ail imports and exports ; and to concur with the depu- 
ties from other colonies in any regulation or remonstrance 
that a majority might deem necessary measures for promot- 
ing a redress of grievances. 

In view of the precarious health of Colonel Harvey, Sam- 
uel Johnston was empowered to convene the deputies of the 
province at such time and place as he should think proper. 
And so a positive step was taken toward the revolution that 
was impending, provision being made for the orderly assem- 
bling of deputies who should represent the people and exer- 
cise the power of government over those who would assent 
to be controlled by the resolutions of congress. 

Governor Martin's attitude 

The position of Ginernor Martin was now delicate in the 
extreme, tie realized that the power of government had 
I'lrgely passed into the hands of the committees of corre- 

434 ^fART[y'S APMLVISTRATIOX, 1771-75 

1774 spop.flence and the provincial Assembly, and was grcailv 

mortined at the falHnjj away from his supi)ort of the incin- 
bers of his council and otlier gentlemen whom he thouc^ht 
bound by the ties of duty and obligation to oppose the revo- 
lutionary faction. He. however, ascribed the condition of 
aiTairs in Xorth Carolina to the personal ambition of 
aspirants for the treasuryship rather than to a more patriotic 

c. R., IX, desicrn. At the election for treasurers in 1772 Johnston had 
1053 ^ II. 

been defeated by ^lontfort and Ashe supplanted by Caswell. 
Caswell had been one of his judges appointed by prerogative, 
and the opposition to that court the governor attributed to a 
purpose to render Caswell unpopular in the interests of a 
C'iml)ination lietween Johnston and Ashe — a conjunction 
which he regarded as extremely formidable to the interests of 
the country and productive of further and worse conse- 
quences. The convention having adjourned, and there being 
no other movement of the people on foot, Governor Martin, 
in September, because of ill health, left the province for New 
York ; doubtless also he wished to confer with Governor 
Trvon. In his absence the administration devolved on James 
'-- Hasell. 

The Continental Congress 

The action of the general congress was substantially on 
the lines indicated l)y the resolutions of the Provincial Con- 
vention of Xorth Carolina. There were adopted resolutions 
of non-importation and non-exportation, which, being signed 
by the members on behalf of themselves and their constitu- 
T^*" • • cuts, became an association paper, which thev agreed "to ob- 
Sept. lotii ^erve bv the sacred ties of virtue, honor, and love of coun- 
try." It was recommended that committees should be chosen 
in every county and town to see to the observance of the 
association by the people, and that the committees of corre- 
spondence should be active in disseminating information. 
McRee-s The post of deputy was one of honor, but also one of 

227 ^ ' ' danger. On the adjournment of the congress. Hewes wrote 
to Iredell : "Our friends are under apprehension that admin- 
istration w ill endeavcT to lay hold of as many delegates as 
possible, and have them carried to England and tried as 
rebels ; this induced the congress to enter into a resolve in 


such cases to make a reprisal. I liave no fears on that head ; ^ 

but shouM it he my lot. no man on earth could be better 
spared. Were 1 to suffer in the cause of American liberty, 
sliould T not be translated immediately to heaven as Enoch 
was of old?"' Such was the general feeling — a spirit of sac- 
rifice and self-immolation. Tlie fires of patriotism were 
imleed lighted, and an ardor to maintain the rights of 
America animated the inhabitants of every province. 

The revolution progresses 

During the fall and early winter local committees con- 
vened the freeholders in the several counties of North Caro- 
lina, and, conformably to the resolutions of the provincial 
and continental congresses, standing committees of safety 
were appointed. The earliest proceedings of any committee 
that have been preserved are those of Rowan County. On 
Septemlier 23d the people there took action, led by William 
Keimon and Adiai Osborn, and doubtless the inhabitants of 
Mecklenburg County were equall_\- forward under the influ- 
ence of Tom Polk, the Alexanders and Brevards. On Octo- 
ber 4th the freeholders of Pitt met. and on the same day 
tliere was a general muster of Colonel Bryan's regiment of 
militia in Johnston. At Halifax. Willie Jones, Samuel Wel- 
don and their associates on the committee in December de- 
clared Andrew ^Tiller, a merchant of Halifax, under the ban 
for refusing to sign the association. In the Albemarle 
region, Johnston. Hewcs, and Harvey directed events, while 
Richard Cogdell. .\bner Xash. Alexander Gaston and other 
patriots took strong and zealous action at New Bern. 

The freeholders of Wilmington having appointed their 
Committee of Safety, on November 23d that body immedi- 
ateh- began to exert authoritv. Captain Foster informed the J,f.^^} 
committee that a quantity of teas had been imported m the 
brig Sally by himself. Messrs. Ancrum, Brice, Hill and 
others, and the importers did not know how to dispose of it, 
and they desired the advice of the committee.* A letter was 

'"Extract from Letter Book of William Hill: 

"Brl'xswick. July 26, 1774. 
"Messrs. Khllv & Co.. London, Englam': 

"The tea, though repeatedly written for, is not come at all. but 
I need not find fault or make any objections now; for the iianie into 


H'* addressed to Mr. Hill, making inquiry whether the tea might 

November not bc regularlv re-exported in tlie same vesseL To this 
incjniry IIi!l replied tliat. in tlic absence of the collector and 
the comptroller, he could not answer what they would de- 
tcrmdne ; l)ut. said he. ""Tlie safety of the people is, or ought 
to be, the suT)reme law ; the gentlemen of tlie committee will 
judge whether this l;iw or an act of Parliament should, at 
this particular time, operate in North Carolina. I believe 
ever}" tea impr)rter will cheerfidly submit to their determina- 
tion.'" Such was the sentiment that pervaded every breast — 

uhicb tlii^ wliole continent is thrown by the operation of the Boston 
port bi!i ".v'.il presently -how itself m a univer.-nl stop to all inter- 
course between Great Britain and the colonies. . . . Though the 
want of the- tea has tor some time past been a serious hurt to me, 
yet 'tis now a Inci^y omission, as I am very doubtful our committee 
would have ordered it back. But I hate politics, and your papers 
arc by diis time ttiled with the resolutions of the diiTerent provinces, 
to\\n.>. etc.. in America. It may not be amiss to say that they are 
sending large contributions from every port on the continent to 
Boston for the relief of the sulTering poor." etc.. etc. 

"BKCX-SwirK, Auenst 17, 1774. 
''The tea I am. as much -urpriscd to see now as I have been dis- 

• ■ appointed :n the want ot ;t the'^o eleven months past. Had it come 

agreeably to my request, in July. 1773. it would have afforded a 
profitable sale: but it is now too late to be received in America. If 
I were ever so willing to take it. the people would not suffer it to 
be landed. Poison would be as acceptable. I hope you will not be 

[• . surprised, therefore, to receive it again by the same .-hip. By this 

3'ou will easily perceive how vastly mistaken your correspondents 
have been, in their opinion of disunion among the .American prov- 
inces : and I can venture to assure you that North Carolina will not 
be behind any of her sister colonies in virtue and a -teady adherence 
to such resolves as the Continental Congress now sitting at Philadel- 
phia shall ad''ipt."' 

?>rr. Hill added ihat he would "decline, until the present diffi- 
culties are happily over, further intercourse with Great Britain." 

"Bkun'swick. December i. 1774. 
"Gextlemex : 

"The Mary luckily arrived tv.o days before the importation limit 
expired : for. horn and after this day, all goods imported from Great 
Britain are to be vendued — the first cost and charges to be paid to 
the importer: the profit, if any, to go to the relief of the sufferers by 
the Boston port bill. 

"The tea of An;rum & Company and Hewes & Smith was in- 
advertently landed : but they delivered it to the collector for the 
duties, and it is now lodged in the custom house." 

''Bruxswick. Jime 3, 1775. 

"The whole continent seems determined, to a man. to die rather 
than give up taxation to those over whom they can have no consti- 
tutional check." 


that the safety of the people was the supreme law. and that ^JJ 

(he conuiiittees were to deterniine h.ow far any act of Par- November 
hanicnt was to be operative. The people were assertinc^ the 
snpreniacy of their will over the authority of the mother 

At ^Vil^lin,^^ton tlic committee put a stop to horse racing. Rdeof 
[o parties of entertainment, to the importation of negroes, Committees 
uMiuiring- them to be returned to the countries from which 
ihey had been shipped ; forbade any increase in the price of 
q-oods, sold, the cargoes of merchandise that were imported, 
paving the profit for the benefit of the Boston sufferers, and 
particularly took action to secure a supply of powder.' Its 
leading spirit was Cornelius Ilarnctt ; but with him were 
associated not only the gentlemen of the country, but most of 
the merchants of the town. Throughout every part of the 
province there was similar action. The patriots were reso- 
lute. The merchants refused to receive any more tea shipped 
to them ; locked up their stock, never to be sold, and one even 
threw his stock into the river. Nor were the women indiiter- s. c. Oaz- 

,-1^1 1 • • 1 ette, April 

ent Spectators ot passmg events. Ihcy sympathized with 3-1775 
the ardor of their fathers, husbands and bro,thers, and were 
willing to make every •sacrifice the situation demanded. At 
Wilmington they had contributed most generously for the ff[e women 
Boston sufferers, and doubtless in every community they '-■ 

were imbued with the same patriotism. 

The Edenton tea party 

The Edenton ladies, shortly after the adjournment of the 
convention, held a meeting on October 25th, and declared they could not be indifferent to whatever affected the 
peace and happiness of th.eir coimtr_\- ; and that since the 
members of the convention had entered into the particidar 
resolves adopted by that body, they themselves proposed to 
adhere to the same resolves, and the\- therefore subscribed 
an association paper as a witness of their solemn determina- 
tion to do so. F'rom that time East India tea was discarded 
by the ladies of Edenton.* 

"^In the earlier stages of the disagreement between the colonies and 
the mother country the of a large p^^rt of the English 
people W'.TC with the colonics v. Ivse cause was -trongly supported 
hy many newspapers and by leading cartoonists. The following 


»J74 Governor Martin returns 

On Decern' )cr jtli Governor ^Martin bcu^an his return jour- 
ney from Xew York by land, reaching' Xew Bern on Jan- 
uary 15th. He observed the inhabitants everywhere greatly 
aroused, and committees carrying into execution the measures 
of the general congress. At .\nnapolis he saw with horror 
his former companion in arms. General Charles Lee, then 
a British half-pay officer, drilling the people ; while in North 
Carolina he realized that the comm.ittees were completely 
exercising the functions of government. To his distress at 
the jiolitical situation there was to be added a .sore personal 
aftiiction, the loss of a little son, the third child of wdiom 
he had been bereaved since his arrival in Carolina. He 
found awaiting him at Xew Bern iiis appointment as agent 

extracts are taken from a volume entitled '"The Boston Port Bill as 
Pictured by a Contemporary London Cartoonist," by R. T. H. 
Halsey. published by the droller Club. 1904: 

"An account of a meeting of a society of patriotic ladies at Eden- 
ton, in North Carolina, appeared in various English papers about the 
middle of January, 1775. Possibly the imposing list of signatures 
attached to the resolutions passed at this gathering caused our car- 
toonist to seject this incident as one fairly representative of the 
moral and physical support the women of the colonies were con- 
tributing to tlie common cause. No reader of English newspapers, 
during the long protracted dispute between the king and the colonies, 
could have remamed ignorant of the political activities of the 
colonial women. . . . 

"The above citations from the English press of the frugality, in- 
dustry and cheerful abstinence from many of the comforts of life 
displayed by the women of the American colonies, have been quoted 
to demonstrate that the political activities of the colonial 
were well known to the public on whom our cartoonist depended 
for a market for the sale of his prints. The especial incident, the 
action of a society of patriotic ladies at Edenton. in North Carolina, 
which he had selected as being typical of the attitude of the women 
in the colonies, was described in several London papers about the 
middle of January. 1775. 

'"The following extract from the Morning Chronicle and London 
Advertiser (of January 16, 1775) tells of the association formed by 
the women of Edenton, in their endeavors to assist in carrying out 
the resolutions taken by the men of North Carolina, and furnished 
the cartoonist for his illustration — extract of a letter from North 
Carolina, October 27th (1774) — "The provincial deputies of North 
Carolina, having resolved not to drink any more tea, nor wear any 
more British cloth, etc.. many ladies of this province have deter- 
mined to give a memorable proof of their patriotism, and have ac- 
cordingly entered into the following honorable and spirited associa- 
tiiT. I send it to you to show your fair countrywomen how zealously 
and faithfully American ladies follow the laudable example of their 

ll'ESTllRX liXPAXSlOX 429 

and attorney of Granville ; and there uas at once need for ^ 

his action. 

The Transylvania colony 

Richard Henderson, an eminent attorney, who had served 
on the bencii a few years earlier, had arranged for the pur- 
chase from the Cherokee Indians of a laro^e portion of their 
hunting grounds in Kentucky and Tennessee, and was pre- 
paring to occupy that wilderness with a colony. This was 
particularly in contravention of th.e king's proclamation, and 
of the acts of \'irginia and of North Carolina. The territory, 
extending from the Ohio southward, lay partly in the king's 
domain and partly within tlie lines of Lortl Granville. Gov- 

husbands, and what opposition your v.afchlcss ministers may expect 
to receive from a people, thus firmly united against them' : 

'"Edextox. North Carolixa. October 25 (1774). 
"As we cannot Ik- inditttrent on any occasion that appears nearly 
to affect the peace and happiness of our country, and as it has been 
thought necessary, for the public good, to enter into several par- 
ticular resolves by a meeting of members deputed from the whole 
province, it is a duty v.i:ich wt owe, not only to our near and dear 
connections, who have concurred in them, but to ourselves, who are 
essentially interested in their welfare, to do everything, as far as 
lies in our power, to testify our sincere adherence to the same ;_ and 
we do therefore accordingly sul>scribe this paper as a witness of our 
fixed intention and solemn determination to do so : 

.^bagail Chariton. Sarah Beasley, Sarah Valentine, 

Elizabeth Creacy. Grace Clayton, Mary Bonner, 

Anne John>tone, Mary Jones, Mary Ramsey. 

Mary \Voo:ard. Mary Creacy, Lydia Bennett, 

Jean Blair. Anne Hall, Tresia Cunningham, 

Frances Hall, Sarah Littlcjohn, .Anne Haughton. 

Mary Creacy, Sarah Hoskins, Elizabeth Roberts, 

Mary Blount, r\I. Pa^ne, Ruth Benbury, 

Margaret Cathcart. Elizabeth Cricket. Penelope Barker, 

Jane Wei! wood, Lvdia Bonner. Mary Littledle, 

Penelope Dawson. Anne Horniblow. Elizabeth Johnstone, 

Susanna Vail. Marion Wells. Elizabeth Green. 

Elizabeth \'ail, Sarah Mathews. Sarah Howe. 

Elizabeth Vail, Elizabeth Roberts. Mary Hunter, 

J. Johnstone, Rebecca Bondheld. Anne Anderson, 

Elizabeth Patterson, Sarah Howcott. Elizabeth Bearsley, 

^largaret Pearson, Elizabeth P. Ormond, Elizabeth Roberts. 

"... Oar cartoonist has pictured m the closing cartoon of the 
.series a living room of a colonial home, filled with women, both of 
high and lowiy station, matrons and maidens, all clothed in gar- 
ments the materials of which bore no ir.ace of having emanated from 
the looms of Manchester or Birmingham." 

430 MARTiyS ADMiyiSrR.lTlOX, 1^71-73 

m^ ernor Martin hastened to issue a stronc: proclamation for- 

bidding- the proposed settlement from l)einc: maile. and declar- 
ing that all wlio siiould enter into any ac:;reenient with the 
Indians would expose themselves to the severest penalties. 
Still Henderson did not remit his exertions to carry his 
design into execution. Daniel Boone blazed the way. and 
a colony was successlully established on the dark and bloody 
ground of Kentucky. 

Proceedings on the Cape Fear 

The general congress recommended that another should be 
convened on May loth ; and early in February Colonel 
Harvey gave notice to the committees of safety to have elec- 
tions of deputies to attend another provincial convention. On 
the 2Cth' of that month the New Hanover committee in- 
vited co-o{jcrat!on with that of Duplin, indicating that on 
Nr.^cne, >,Iarch 6tii there would be several matters of much concern; j^^-, Americm welfare agitated. John Ashe, who had long 

been coloi-.el of New Hanover County, had declined to accept 
c. R., X, a new commission from Governor Alartin. thus disassociating 
48, 14^ hiniself from the military organization of the constituted 

authorities : and the people of New Hanover had met and 
chosen field otificers for a regiment, he becoming the colonel. 
Similar action was taken in Brunswick, and Colonel Robert 
114^1/5'^' Howe training the people to arms. On ]\larch 6th an 
March, 1773 association paper was agreed to by the Xew Hanover com- 
mittee and recommended to the committees of the adjacent 
counties, by v.diich the subscribers "'most solemnly engage 
by the most sacred ties of honor, virtue, and love of country" 
to observe every part of the association recommended by 
c. R.,x, 33 the Continental Congress. At the same time it appears that 
there was a proposition to seize Fort Johnston, Init it was 
thought not advisable. Some of the inhabitants of Wilming- 
ton were reluctant to sign the association paper, and Colonel 
Ashe appeared in the town at the head of some five himdred 
of his regiment and menaced the people '"with military execu- 
c. R..x,43 tions if they did not immediately subscribe." Without doubt, 
being now an active leader in the throes of a revolution, Ashe 
used every influence that coidd be exerted to infuse zeal 
among the people, to fix the wavering and to overawe those 


uho were disinclined to c:ist their fortunes with the revo- ^t; 

lutionists. The cominancHnq- figure on the Cape Fear, he was 

at once stalwart, bold and determined. With, him were his 

kinsmen, and Harnett and Howe, Moore and LilUnq-ton : 

unh.appily, DeRosset and W'addcll. leaders in the stamp act 

times, had passed away. For their resolute action, Harnett, 

Ashe, Howe, and .\b:itr Xash were particularly marked out 

l)\- tlie g^n"e*-nor as ]jroper objects of proscription, because 

"the}' stand foremost amonc^ the patrons of revolt and an- c. r.,x. ^8 


The disaffected in the interior 

But amid these evidences of defection the governor found 
some comfort. The Regulators had never i)een pardoned, 
and were still fearful of pun.ishment. {"Vom time to time, as 
apprehensions arose, oth.ers vcould follow those who had 
earlier removed from the province ; and many of the former 
insurgents were yet uneasy. The !-'ing liad reconniieti ded to 
the Assembly to pass an act of oblivion, but session succeeded 
session vx'ithout bringmg the comforting assurance that there 
were to be no more prosecutions. Now some of the Regu- ' • "' 
lators presented addresses to the governor, much to his satis- c. r., ix, 
faction. Some two hundred inhabitants of Rowan and 
Surry assured him of their (lotenr.ination to continue his 
Majesty's loyal subjects. ^lore than one hundred residents ^■ 

of Guilford, ""being before an unhappy people, lying under 
the reflection of the late unhappy insurrection," declared 
that they held a firm attachment to his Majesty. From An- 
son came the assurance from more than two hundred to con- 
tinue steadfast in the support of government. The governor 
speedily took measures to attach these people to him, giving 
them every encouragement ; and so hopeful was he of their 
united support that on ^vlarch i6th he wrote to General Gage, 
at Boston, asking for arms and a good store of ammunition, 
and promising, with the aid of the Regulators and Fligh- 
landers, to maintain the king's sovereignty in North Caro- 
lina. He had indeed ascertained that many of the Fligh- c. r., ix, 
landers who had so recently settled in the province, and 
others being, like the Regulators, oath bound, would enroll 
themselves beneath his baimer ; and he sent emissaries among 


^ them and association papers for them to sign. To strengthen 

this movement, he caused the several addresses received by 
him to be pubh'slied in the North Carolina Gazette, and soon 
had the satisfaction of finding that some fifteen hundred 
men were enrolled in his support. 

The Assembly and the Convention 
c.^R., IX, jij^j Provincial Convention or congress was to meet at New 
Bern on April 3d and the Assembly on the 4th, the two bodies 
being composed substantially of the same members. On 
April 2d Governor Martin issued a proclamation forbidding 
the convention to be held, and exhorting members to with- 
draw themselves and desist from such illegal proceedings. 
Nevertheless the convention met. chose Harvey moderator and 
proceeded to business ; and on the 4th the house met, Harvey 
wiU"°it being chosen speaker. On the following day the governor 
together issued auothcr proclamation, commanding all his }dajcsty's 
subjects to break up the illegal convention, bui his v/arnings 
were disregarded. Indeed, on that very day, the Assembly 
being in session and Harvey in tlie chair as speaker. the mem- 
bers of the convention who were not assemblymen, and there 
were about twenty more of the former than of the latter in 
attendance, took their seats in the house, which was then con- 
verted into the convention; and the body proceeded to the 
transaction of business as such, later the business of the house 
C.R., IX, being resumed. On information of this proceeding. Gov- 
ernor Martin's wrath knew no bounds, and quickly changing 
the upper house of the legislature into a council, he brought 
the subject before them, but was advised that it was inexpedi- 
Association ^"^ ^^ ^'^^'^'^ uotice of it. The convention signed the associa- 
signed tion adopted by the general congress, thanked Hooper, 

Hewes, and Caswell for their services as deputies and re- 
elected them to attend the next congress, to be held on 
May loth, and invested them with power to bind the province 
in honor by any act that they might do. It recommended 
the encouragement of arts and manufactures, and that 
premiums should be offered by the local committees to pro- 
mote industries throughout the province. It declared that 
his Majesty's subjects have a right to meet and petition the 
throne and to appoint delegates for that purpose, and that 


I'.ie governor's proclamations commanding the convention 'J^j 

to disperse was a wanton and arliitrary exercise of power. 

To the iioiise the governor made a long and heated 
address, inveighing against the illegal convention, pointmg 
out that it was dishonorable to the Assembly for snch a body 
to meet, and warning them of the dangerous precipice on 
which thev who had solemnly sworn allegiance to the king 
then stood, and informing them of the satisfaction he had 
leceived in the assurance of support by the inhabitants of 
the interior. 

The reply of the house was spirited and bold. It declared C-^J',]^^- 
that the members, with minds superior to private dissensions, 
had determined calmly, unitedly, and faithfully to discharge 
the sacred trust reposed in them by their constituents ; ac- Reciprocal 
knowledging their allegiance to the king, they declared that aecifred 
the same constitution which established that allegiance bound 
his Majesty under as solemn obligations to protect his sub- 
jects, making each reciprocally dependent. Asserting that 
the king had no subjects more faithful than the inhabitants 
of North Carolina, or more ready, at the expense of their 
lives and fortunes, to protect and support his person, crown, 
and dignitv. they expressed their warm attachment to their 
sister colonies and heartfelt compassion for Boston, and 
declared the fixed and determined resolution of the colony 
to unite with the other colonies to retain their just rights 
as British subjects. They reiterated what the convention had 
affirmed with regard to the legality of that body, approved 
the ])roceedings of the Continental Congress, and resolved to 
exert everv influence to induce the inhabitants of Xorth 
Carolina to ob>erve the rules it had recommended. They 
thanked the Xorth Carolina deputies for their faithful con- 
duct, and approved of their re-election by the convention. 
The governor, on the evening of Friday, the 7th, having ^.[;;''' '"« 
obtained information of the nature of the Assembly's ad- ^j^^XcIf 
dress to him, early the next morning dissolved the body. ^ 

Although later' Governor Martin called for the election 
of new m'embers to be held on June 23d. this w^as the last 
Assembly ever convened under royal authority. It was also 
the last appearance in public affairs of that sterling patriot. 
John Harvey, wdiose health had long been delicate ; and now. 

434 MARTI yS JDM IMSTRATIOX. 1771-7-^ 

'j'J wasted by disease, he bade farewell to those associates who 

had ,<Tiven him so many evidences of their esteem and con- 
fidence, and who. nnder his q-uidance. had entered upon that 
determined action which snhsequentlv led to the indepcn- 

H^vey ^ ^^f"ce of the colony. About the middle of May he fell from 
^ his horse and died, lamented by his compatriots. 

North Carolina at Court 

.. In England some conciliatory measures had been pro- 
posed that, however, did not at all appeal to the colonists. 

Pr.rVer.nnd Thomas Barker, who twenty years earlier had. been a lawyer 

address'to °^ influcncc iu the Albemarle section, and once treasurer, 

icing was now in England, and Alexander Elmsly, who also had 

. . been a member of the A.ssembly and a man of influence in 

■ ■ ■■ that section, being also in London, to them it was given in 

charge by the Assembly of 1774 to present the address of 

■ the province to the Crown. They took the liberty of sup- 
pressing that address as adopted by the Assembly and of 
writing another, which was received with favor bv the 

c. R . IX. Board of Trade : and Governor Tryon. being also at London. 
N.'t^th exerted himself in behalf of North Carolina; so that when, 

^xc'e'S ^bout the middle of February, a bill was introduced into 
Parliament forbidding trade with the colonists, North Caro- 
'■'"■1 lina and New York were excepted. This was regarded in 

' the province as an unenviable distinction, and was ascribed 

^' to a purpose to detach North Carolina from the common 

cause, while at the same time leaving open communications 
by which Great Britain could continue to receive needed 
•'"'i 1 supplies of naval stores so essential for naval operations. 
Tl^is tender was at once rejected by the inhabitants with 
disdain, and North Carolina, paying no attention to it, re- 
mained faithful to the common cause. To the northward 
military companies were forming, and the V^irginia Assembly 
provided for the raising of a company in each countv. Such 
a proposition was brought forward in the North Carolina 
c.^R., IX, convention, but was then deemed inexpedient. 

The battle of Lexington 

But all hopes that the peace would not be broken quickly 
vanislied. On April 19th the first clash of arms occurred 


,'it Lexington, and information of that battle was hurried 'J'j 

from Boston bv successive couriers to Charleston. On c.r, ix, 

- ^ 1234, I23V 

Mav 3'.1 the courier from Xanseniond reached Edenton ; on 
.\!av6th, Xew Bern; two da}-5 later, Wilmington and Eruns- 
uick. On May gth, Montfort, at Halifax, despatched the 
lu'ws to Burke at Hiilsi:>oro, and it spread rapidl}- through- 
cut the province. It created great excitement. Th.e people 
v.cre stirred as never before. A new phase was now im- 
parted to public alTtairs, the people feeling that they must 
tight. Independent military companies at once began to be 
organized. It was the same throughout all America, ^^^y- '77s 
Toward the end of April Caswell and Hewes left the prov- 
ince to attend the Congress. In Virginia and Maryland c. r., ix, 
tl'cy were escorted rhrough the several counties by the mili- 
tary companies, and on reaching Philadelphia they found 
twenty-eight companies organized and 2000 men drilling 
morning and evening, and only martial music could be heard 
in the streets. The change had been electrical. 

On May lOth Xash and others had begun the formation c. r.. ix, 
I «f con:pan;es at X'eu- Bern. The governor, fearing that some x''^,; ^3 
mounted cannon on the palace grounds would be seized and 
carried off, on 'Sl^.y 23d caused them to be dismounted; and ^^^^ 
whcu X'a.-^h and a coimnittee of citizens waited on him to s -vernor 


ascertain the cause of this action, the governor said that 
the carriages were unsafe, and he was making preparations 
to celebrate the king's birthday : but while he was indignant 
at l)eing called to account by the people, lie was also alarmed 
and prevaricated in order to quiet them. 

Governor Martin seeks safety 

A day or two later an emissary arrived from New York 
and informed Governor ^lartin that General Gage was about 
to seud him the arms and munitions desired, and there was 
reason to suppose that the shi[)ment had been discovered. A 
rejjort also had been propagated that the g(3vernor had 
formed a design of arming the negroes and proclaiming 
freedom to those v,-ho siiould resort to the king's standard, M.irtin, 
and the pul)lic mind was much intlamed against him. Indeed, 's'Cr-h 
there was th.en brewing a plot for a neL-ro insurrection in ^•'^^"■^■^'^1' 

43^ MARTIX'S .-m.]f[X!STRATIOX, 17/1-73 

!!!: the rco-ion near Tar River. By timely good fortune, on 

J"iy, >775 July -th the plot was discovered. 

Nejro ^' ^' ^" ^^^^ following night the negroes were to rise and mur- 

piTnned""" ^^^^ ^^^^ whites. moving from plantation to plantation, and 
then, having embodied, they were to march to the west, 
where tliey expected to be received and protected by the 
inhabitants who were still attached to the king. Companies 
of light horse scoured the country, and the negroes were 
speedily suppressed, but apparently not without some of 
them being killed. 

ThiC purpose was avowed in some of the colonies to seize 
the ro>al governors and detain them, and Governor :\rartin, 
fearing the discovery of tiie shipment of arms, especially in 
connection with his alleged design to arm the negroes, be- 

c. R., X. 4. came very apprehensive for his personal safety. The mili- 

. tary companies formed at Xew^ Bern were a menace, and, 

separated from, the king's forces, he had no friends to pro- 

uave's" ^^^^ ^^'"^- f^e hurried his private secretary to Ocracoke to 

M^riltTm ^^°P '^^^' ^'^^^^^ bringing in arms, ordering it to proceed to 
Fort Johnston. Tl:e same night he de^patched his wife and 
family to Xew York, bearing letters to General Gage, and 
he asked that a royal standard should be furnished him. 
Being now entirely alone, on the last day of Alay he locked 
the palace, left the key with a servant, and took his departure 
southward. Giving out that he w^as going to visit Chief 
Justice Hasell, he took flight for Fort Johnston, where he 

c. R.x, 44 safely arrived on June 2d. His flight perhaps gave a new 
impulse to the popular movement, strengthening the hands 
of Nash, Cogdell and Gaston ; and on June 8th the associa- 
tion was being signed in every part of the county, and the 
militia were forming into companies and choosing their own 

Th^iks^"*' Elections were held for assemblymen on June 23d, and a 

election Considerable number of inhabitants gathering at New B.ern 
on that occasion, they went to the deserted palace and took 
possession of the six cannon there, and removed them to the 


The ^Mecklenburg Resolves, ]\Iay 31, 1775 

The Mecklenburg fleclarraion. — Historical statement. — Documents 
and observations. -^Ccn4*t'k>ns in May. — Mecklenburg aroused. — The 
i:rrat meeting at Charlotte. — Colonel Polk proclaims the resolves. — 
Independence declared. — The old government annulled. — The leaders 
in Mecklenburg. — The ettect elsewhere. — At Salisbury. — At New 
Ik-rn. — Bcthania. — Reconciliation stdl desired. — Apprehensions. — 
Thomas Jefferson. — The Regulators. — The patriots in the interior. — 
Tlie clashing in Anson — New Hanover acts. — Governor Martin's 
plans. — McDonald arrives. — Xew Hanover impatient. — Fort Johnston 
burned. — The Revolution progresses. — Dunn and Boote confined. 

In May. 1775, the condition of public affairs was alarming. Boston 
was occupied by a hostile British army, and "the cause of Boston 
was felt to be the caus.e of all." The situation having been dis- 
cussed by some of the leading citizens of Mecklenburg County, and 
several local meetings having been held at different points in the 
co.inty. Colonel Thomas Polk called for the election of two delegates 
from each of the militia districts of the county '"to take into con- 
sideration the state of the coimtry, and to adopt such measures as 
to them seemed" best to secure their lives, liberties, and property 
fvim the storm which was gathering and had burst on their fellow- 
citi;-:ens to the eastward by a British army" (statement of G. Graham 
and others). The delegates, having been chosen, met at Charlotte. 
The news of the battle of Lexington had arrived and the people 
were much excited (ibid.^. Resolutions were adopted that were 
with great formality read by Colonel Polk to a large concourse of 
citizens, composed of nearly one-half of the men of the county, 
drawn together by their interest in the occasion (ibid.). 

The manuscript records of these proceedings appear to have been 
in the possession of John McKnitt Alexander until the year 1800. In 
1794 he sent a copy of them to Dr. Hugh \Villiam-=on. In April, 
1800, his residence was destroyed by fire and these original records 
were then burnt. 

Subsequently John McKnitt Alexander sought to reproduce the 
burnt records. Apparently he made some rough notes as a basis for 
reproduction on a half >heet of paper, which he preserved. Attached 
to that half sheet, when discovered after his death in 1817, was a 


1775 full sheet in n handwriting- unknown to his son. Dr. Jr.scph McKniu 

The Alexander, which contained an account of the proceedings in Meck- 

do"nic'iTof li^iiburg, including a series of resolutions whicli has since been 
••S':k5 known as "The Declaration of May 20th." 

His In September, iSoo. a cop}' of this "full sheet" was sent by Jolin 

ceruficate .McKnitt Alexander to General William R. Davie with the following 
certificate appended to it: 

"It may be worthy of notice here to observe that the foregoiivj 
statement, though fundamentally correct, yet may not literally cor- 
respond with the oritrinal record of the transactions of said delega- 
tion and Court oi Inriuiry, as all those records and papers were 
burned, with the house, on April 6, iSoo: but previous to that time 
N. C. Uni. of 1800. a full copy of said records, at the request of Dr, Hugh 
Aprlil 1S53, \\ i'lianison. then of New York, but formerly a representative in 
'75 Congress from this State, was forwarded to him by Colonel William 

.' .-. Polk, in order that those early transactions might fill their proper 

; place in a hi^^tory of this State then writing by said Dr. Williams 

(sic) in Xew York. 

"Certified to the be-t of my recollection and belief this 3d day of 
September. 1800. by 

"J McK. Alexander, 

"Ivlccklenburg County, N. C." 

The Davie This Certificate fixes the character of "the full sheet" and of the 

copy "Davie copy" to -a hich it was annexed. They were not copies of any 

record. In like manner, it is to be said of all other copies of the 
resolutions purporting to ha\e been adopted at Charlotte on INIay 
20th, that they have only this origin and source, and are copies of the 
Alexander document of i<Soo. 

The remembrance of Mecklenburg's patriotic action was cherished 
locally, but no conten'.poraneous publication of the proceedings scctus 
to have been preserved in county ; nor was the copy sent to Dr. 
Williamson ever published; nor did General Davie give publicity to 
the paper sent him. 

John McKnitt Alexander died on July 10. 1817, and after his death 
his son. Dr. Jo-eph McKnitt Alexander, found in his mansion hou>e 
a bundle of old pamphlets, and with them the "half sheet" and the 
"full sheet" of manuscript- above mentioned. In 1818 inquiry was 
made concerning the proceedings in M(-ckU'nburg, and Dr. Joseph 
McKnitt Alexander sent a copy of the "full sheet" to TTon. William 
Davidson, then a member oi Congress. On the 30th of April, 1810. 
the following publication appeared in the Raleigh Rr!:istrr: 

''It is not probably known to many of our readers that the citi- 
zens of Mecklenburg County, in this State, made a declaration of 


Mulcpcndence more than a year before Congre.-s made theirs. The ^^ 

f.'Ihnvmg document on the subject has lately come to the hands 

oi the editor from unquestionable authority, and is published that 

,' may go down to po.iicrity : 

North Carolixa, Mecklexburg County. May 20. 1775. 

In the spring of 1775. the leading characters of Mecklenburg The 

County, stnnulated bv that enthusiastic patriotism which elevates Alexandsr 

• ... . I'ocuiuent ot 

the mind above considerations of individual aggrandizemient. and 1800 

<corning to shelter themselves from the impending storm by sub- 
nnssion to lawless power, etc.. held several detached meetings, 
in each of wiiich the individual sentiments were, "that the cause 
of Boston was the cause of all ; that their destinies were indissolubly 
connected with those of their Eastern fellow-citizens — and that. they 
must cither submit to all the impositions which an unprincipled, and 
to them an unrepresented, parliament might impose — or support 
their brethren who were doomed to sustain the first shock of that 
power, which, if successful there, would ultimately overwhelm all in 
the common calamit}'." Conformably to these principles, Colonel 
Adam. Alexander, through solicitation, issued an order to each cap- 
tain's company in the county of ^Mecklenburg vthen comprising the 
present county of Cabarrus), directing each militia company to elect 
tv.'o persons, and delegate to them ample power to devise ways and 
means to aid and assist their suffering brethren in Boston, and also 
generally to adopt measures to extricate themselves from the im- 
pending storm, and to secure unimpaired their inalienable rights, 
privileges and liberties, from the dominant grasp of British imposi- 
tion and tyrannny. 

In contorming to said order, on May 19. 1775, the said delega- 
tion met in Charlotte, vested with unlimited powers ; at which time 
official news, by express, arrived of the battle of Lexington on that 
day of the preceding month. Every delegate felt the value and 
importance of the prize, and the awful and solemn crisis which 
had arrived — every bosom swelled with indignation at the malice, 
inveteracy, and insatiable revenge, developed in the late attack at 
Lexington. The universal sentim.cnt was : let us not flatter our- 
selves that popular harangues or resolves, that popular vapor will 
avert the storm, or vanquish our common enemy — let us deliberate 
— let us calculate the issue — the probable result; and then let us 
act with energy, as brethren leagued to preserve our property — 
our lives — and v.hat is still more endearing, the liberties of America. 
Abraham Alexander was then elected chairman, and John ]McKnitt 
Alexander, clerk. After a free and full discusssion of the various 
objects for which the delegation had been convened, it was unani- 
mouslv ordained : 


UJ^ I. Resolved, That whoever directly or indirectly abetted, or in 

any way, form, or manner, countenanced the unchartered and dan- 
gerous invasion of our rights, as claimed by Great Britain, is an 
enemy to this country — to America — and to the inherent and in- 
alienable rights of man. 

2. Risokcd. That we. the citizens of Mecklenburg County, <h) 
hereby dissolve the political bands which have connected us to the 
mother country, and hereby absolve ourselves from all allegiance 
to the British Crown, and abjure all political connection, contract, 
or association with that nation, who have wantonly trampled on 
our rights and liberties — and inhumanly shed the innocent blood of 
American patriots at Lexington. 

3. Resolfed, That we do hereby declare ourselves a free and inde- 
pendent people, are. and of right ought to be. a sovereign and •^elf- 
governing association, under the control of no power other than 
that of our God and the general government of the congress; to 
the maintenance of which independence we solemnly pledge to 
each other our mutual co-operation, our lives, our fortunes, and our 
most sacred honor. 

4. Resohed, That as we now acknowledge the existence and con- 
trol of no law or legal officer, civil or military, within this county, 
we do hereby ordain and adopt, as a rule of life, all, each and every 
of our former laws, wherein, nevertheless, the Crown of Great 
Britain never can be considered as holding rights, privileges, im- 
munities, or authority therein. 

5. Rcsolzed. That it is also further decreed, that all, e?.ch and every 
military officer in this county is hereby reinstated to his former com- 
mand and authority, he acting conformably to these regulations. 
And that every member present of this delegation shall henceforth be 
a civil officer, viz.. a justice of the peace, in the character of a 
c.uHiP.ittccw.c.n. to issue process, hear arid determine all matters 
of controvefiy. according to said adopted laws, and to preserve 
peace, and union, and harmony, in said county, and to use every 
exertion to spread the love of country and fire of freedom through- 
out America, until a more general and organized government be 
established in this province. 

A number of by-laws were also added, merely to protect the as- 
sociation from confus'on. and to regulate their general conduct as 
citizens. After sitting in the court-house all night, neither sleepy, 
hungry, nor fatigued, and after discussing every paragraph, they 
were all passed, sanctioned, and declared, unanimously, about 2 a.m., 
Mav 20th. In a few days, a deputation of said delegation con- 
vened, when Captain James Jack, of Charlotte, was deputed as ex- 
press to the congress at Philadelphia, with a copy of said Resolves 


ami I'rocecdings. together with a letter addressed to our three rep- 
resentatives there, viz.. Richard Caswell, William Hooper and 
Joseph Tiughes— under express injiniction. personally, and through 
the State representation, to use all possible means to have said pro- 
ceedings sanctioned and approved by the general congress. On 
the return of Captain Jack, the delegation learned that their pro- 
ceedings were individually approved by the members of congress, 
but that it was deemed premature to lay them before the house. A 
joint letter from said three members of congress was al-o received, 
complimentary of the zeal in the common cause, and recommending 
perseverance, order and energy. 

The subsequent harmony, unanimity, and exertion in the cause of 
liberty and independence, evidently resulting from these regulations 
and the continued exertion of said delegation, apparently tranquil- 
lized this section of the State, and met with the concurrence and 
high approbation of the Council of Safety, who held their sessions 
at New Bern and Wilmington, alternately, and who confirmed the 
nomination and acts of the delegation in their official capacity. 

From this delegation originated the Court of Enquiry of this 
county, who constituted and held their first session in Charlotte — 
they then held their meetings regularly at Charlotte, at Colonel 
James Harris's, and at Colonel Phifer's. aiternateiy. one week at 
each place. It was a civil court founded on military process. Be- 
fore this judicature, all suspicious persons were made to appear, 
who were formally tried and banished, or continued under guard. 
Its jurisdiction was as unlimited as toryism. and its decrees as final 
as the confidence and patriotism of the county. Several were ar- 
rested and brought before them from Lincoln, Rowan and the ad- 
jacent counties. 

[The foregoing is a true copy of the papers on the above subject, 
left in my hajids !)y John McKnitt Alexander, deceased. I find it 
mentioned on file that the original book was burned April. 1800. 
That a copy of the proceedings was sent to Hugh Williamson, in 
New York, then writing a "History of North Carolina." and that a 
copy was sent to General W. R. Davie. /. McKnitt."]* 

Shortly after the publication of this document in the Register, in 
iSfQ. Colonel William Polk, being interested, obtained certificates 
from General George Graham. William Hutchison. Jonas Clark, 
Robert Robinson and others, residents of Mecklenburg, corrobora- 
tive of its authenticity, and further certifying that within a few 
days after the adoption of the Resolves Captain Jack went as a mes- 
senger to bear them to the Continental Congress. 

*Dr. Joseph McKnitt Alexander, son of John McKnitt Alexander, 
used this signature. 


/ / D 


They certified on honor tliat : 

"W'e V. ere prc>cnt in the town of Charlotte, in the said county 

of ?\Iocklcnbure. on Mny 19. 1775. when two persons elected from 

eacli captain's com])any in said county appeared as delegates, to take 

Or.iham into Consideration the state r.f the country, and to adopt such nieas- 

aiid others „_, .,,,., ^u i ^ 

urcs as to them seem best . . . 

"The order for the election of delegates was given by Colonel 
Thomas Poik, the commanding officer of the militia of the county, 
with a rcnuest that their p..uers should be ample, touching any 
rneasure that should be proposed. We do further certify and de- 
protr.-icted '^•'T''- ''i^l ^^ the bcst of ouf rccolIection and belief, the delegation 
n.ecinig ^.g^ complete from every company, and that the meeting took place 

in the court-house about 12 o'clock on the said day of May 19. 
1775. when Abraham Alexander was chosen chairman, and Dr. 
Ephraim Brc-.ard, secretary. That the delegates continued in ses- 
sion until in the night of that day: tiiat on the 20th they again met, 
when a committee, under the direction of the delegates, had formed 
several Resolves, which were read, and which went to declare them- 
selves, and the people of Mecklenburg County, free and independent 
' of the k-ng and Parliament of Great Britain — and from that day 

thenceforth all allegiance and political relation was absolved be- 
tween the good people of Mecklenburg and the king of Great 
Britain : which Declaration was signed hv evcrv member of the dele- 

1 he public ,• J i_ I , , " r " ", 

meetinK gation. Under the shouts and huzzas of a very large assembly of the 

people of the county, who had come to know the issue of the 

Captain On December 7, 1819. Captain Jack made the following affidavit: 

"Havmg seen m the newspapers some pieces respecting the Dec- 
laration of Independence by the people of Mecklenburg County, in 
the State of Xorth Carolina in May. 1775, and being solicited to stale 
what I know of that transaction : I would observe that for sometime 
previous to and at the time tho-e resolutions were agreed upon. 1 
resided in the town of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County; was privy 
to a num.ber of meetings of some of the most influential and leading 
characters of that county on the subject, before the final adoption of 
the resolufiOns — and at the time they were adopted: among those 
who appeared to take the lead may be mentioned Hezekiah Alex- 
ander, who generally acted as chairman; John McKnitt .Alexander, 
as secretary: Abraham Alexander. Adam Alexander. Major John 
David-on. Major (afterward General) William Davidson. Colonel 
Thomas Polk, Ezekiel Polk, Dr. Ephraim Brevard. Samuel Martin. 
Duncan Ochktrec, William Willson. Robert Irvin. 

"When the Resolutions were finally agreed on, they were publicly 


proclainiL-d hum tI:o court-house door in the town of Charlotte, and 1 

were received with every ileiiKjn-tratioii of joy by the inhabitants. 

"I was then -oHcited to be the bearer of the proceecUngs to congress. 
I set out the foliowing month, say June, and in passing through 
Sjhsbury, the general court was sitting. At the request of the court 
I handed a cupy of the Resolutions to Colonel Kennon. an attorney, 
and they were read aloud in open court. .Major William Davidson 
and Mr. Avery, an attorney, called on me at my lodging the even- 
ing after, and observed they had heard of but one person (a 
Mr. Beard), but a[!proved of tliem. 

■'I then pruceeded on to Philadelphia and delivered the Mecklen- 
burg Declaration of Independence of May. 1775. to Richard Caswell 
and William Hooper, the delegates to congress from the State of 
North Carolina." 

Other statements were made by men of the highest character, 
all confirming the fact that there were proceedings in Mecklenburg 
in May, 1775, relating to independence, and some giving the details 
with great particularity. 

On January 20. 1820. John Simeson wrote to Colonel William 
Polk: "I have conversed with many of my old friends and others, 
and all agree in the point, but few can state the particular^. . . . 
"Yourself, sir. in vuur eighteenth year and on the spot, your worthy 
father, the m-j^t popular and intluential character in the county, and 
yet you cannot state much from recollection. Your father, as com- Simeson 
manding oftleer of the county, issued orders to the captains to appoint 
two men from each company to represent them in the committee. It 
was done. Neill Morrison, John Flennigan, from this company; 
Charles Alexander. John McPCnitt Alexander. Hezekiah Alexander, 
Abraham Alexander. Esq., John Phifer, David Reese, Adam Alex- 
ander. Dickey Barry. John Queary. with others whose names 1 cannot 
obtain. As to the names of those who drew up the Declaraciem, I 
am inclined to think Dr. Brevard was the principal, fmm his 
known talents in composition. It was, however, in substance and 
form like that great National Act agreed on thirteen months after. 
Ours was toward the close of May, 1775. In addition to what I 
have said, the same committee appointed three men to secure all 
the military stores for the coimty's use — Thomas Polk, John Phifer, 
and Joseph Kennedy. I was under arms near the head of the line, 
near Colonel Polk, and heard him distinctly read a long string of 
grievances, the Declaration and military order above."* 

*The accuracy of the memory of this witness, Mr. Simeson, in one 
particular at least is remarkable. By the last of the resolves of 
May .vst. Colonel Thomas Polk and Dr. Joseph Kennedy were 
appointed toj.nrchase ;.mmunition. as the witness recollected after 
the lapse of forty-five years. 


^^ Francis Cuir.aiins wrote in 1819 to Mr. Macon: "At length, in tlic 

Cummins Same vcar, 1775, I thiiik — at least positively before July 4. ijyb — 
the males generally of that county met on a certain day at Charlotte, 
ami from the head of tiie court-house door proclaimed independence 
on English government, by their herald. Colonel Thomas Polk. 1 
was present and saw and heard it." 
Davie copy In November. 1820. General Davie died, and there was foutui 
among his papers a manuscript copy of the proceedings at Charlotte, 
in the handwriting of John McKnitt Alexander, to which was n])- 
pended the note above printed to the effect that "the foregoing 
statement, though fundamentally correct, yet may not literally cor- 
respond with the original records, as all those records and papers 
, ., .., were burned with the house on April 6, 1800." 

J, This "Davie copy" was then sent to the son. Dr. Joseph McKnitt 

Alexander, who preserved it. It was the same a- the document 
published in tlie Raleigh Register except some slight verbal differ- 

The resolutions thus presented to the public as those adopted at 
Charlotte in May. 1775, ^vere without hesitation accepted in North 
Carolina as authentic and genuine. But Mr. Jefferson and Mr. 
Adams denied their authenticity. Therefore, other affidavits and 
certificates were procured, and a committee of the General xAssembly 
was appointed "to examine, collate and arrange such documents as 
relate to the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence" : and at the 
session of 18,10-31 it reported that "by the publication of these papers 
it will be fully verified that as early as the month of May, 1775. a 
portion of the people of North Carolina . . . did by a public and 
solenm act declare the dissolution of the ties which bound them to 
the Crown and people of Great Britain, and did establish an inde- 
pendent, tho'jgh temporary government for their own control and 
The State direction." Their report was directed to be published by the State. 
The original docunients found by Dr. Joseph McKnitt ( Alexander) 
were submitted to this committee, passed into the hands of the state 
authorities for a time, appear to have l)een returned, but subsequently 
came into the possession of Governor David L. Swain. They consisted 
of a torn half-sheet of paper, on which were written some notes in 
the handwriting of John McKnitt Alexander, being apparently 
rough first attempts to reproduce statements and : this 
half-sheet being stitched to a full sheet (containing substantially the 
paper publish.ed in the Raleigh Regisrer, and also furnished to Gen- 
If^TP^. eral Davie), which was in an unknown handwriting. These papers 

Alexaii.iers were acconipanied by a certificate as follows: "The sheet and torn 
Hoyt.^js' half-sheet to which this is attached Cthe sheet is evidently cor- 
rected in two places by John McKnitt Alexander, as marked on 



it — the half-sheet is in his own handwriting) were found after the »7 

death of John .McKnitt Alexander in hi^ old mansion-house in the "^ 

centre of a roll of old pamphlets, viz. : 'an address on public liberty, 
printed Philadelphia. 1774': one "on the disputes with G. Britain, 
printed 1775'; one "on State affairs, printed at Hillsboro. 1788'; and 
'an address on Federal policy to the citizens of N. C, a 1788" ; and 
the "J'-'t'Ti'il ot tlie Provincial Congress of X. C. a held at Hall! fax. 
the 4 of April, 1776.' which papers have been in my possession ever 
"Certified November 25, 1830. 

"J- McKnitt."* 

Among the certiiicates then published was one from Samuel Wil- Wilson 
son: "I do hereby certify that in May. 1775. a committee or dele- 
gation from the different militia companies in this county met in 
Charlotte, and after consulting together they publicly declared their 
independence on Great Britain and on her government. This was 
done before a large collection of people who highly approved of it. 
I was then and there present and heard it read from the court-house 

John Davidson on October 5. 1830. wrote : "As I am perhaps the Davidson 
only person living who was a member of that convention, and being 
far advanced in years, and not having my mind frequently directed to 
that circumstance for some years, I can give you but a very succinct 
history of that transaction. There were two men chosen from each 
captain's company to meet in Charlotte to take the subject into 
consideration. John McKnitt Alexander and myself were chosen 
from one company ; and many other members were there that I now 
recollect whose names I deem unnecessary to mention. When the 
members met and were perfectly organized for business, a motion 
was made to declare ourselves independent of the Crown of Great 
Britain, which was carried by a large majority. Dr. Ephraim Brevard 
was then appointed to give us a sketch of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, which he did. James Jack was appointed to take it on to 
the American Congress. . . . When Jack returned he stated that the 
Declaration was presented to Congress, and the reply was that they 
h'.ghly esteemed the patriotism of the citizens of Mecklenburg, but 
they thought the measure too premature. I am confident that the 
Declaration cf Independence by the people of ^lecklenhurg was made 
public at least twelve months before that of the Congress of the 
United States." 

*^V. H.__PIoyt's work on "The Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," IQ07. where both the notes on the half sheet and the 
wr:tmg on the lull sheet are reproduced from the Bancroft manu- 




The public 

Out of 

General Joseph Graham wrote October 4, 18.50: "Agreeably to your 
request I wi!! give you the details ol the ilecklenburg Declaration nr 
Independence on May _'0. 1775, as well as I can recollect after a 
lapse of fifty-five years. I was then a lad about half grown, was 
present on that occasion (a looker on). 

"During the winter and spring preceding that event, several popu- 
lar meetings of the people were held in Charlotte, two of which I 
attended. Papers were read, grievances stated and public measures 
discussed. . . . On !May 20. 1775, besides the two persons electcfl 
from each militia company (usually called committee-men), a mucli 
larger number of ciii/.en.>> attended in Charlotte than at any former 
meeting — perhaps hall the men in tlie county. The news of the bat- 
tle of Lexington, April 19th preceding, had arrived. There appeared 
among the people much excitement. The committee were organized 
in the court-house by appointing Abraham .-Me.xander, Esq.. chair- 
man and John McKnitt Alexander, Esq.. clerk, or secretary to the 
meeting. After reading a number of papers as usual, and much ani- 
mated discussion, the question was tal:en, and they resolved to de- 
clare themselves independent. 

"One among other reasons ofiFered. that the king or ministry had, 
by proclamation or s^me edict, declared the colonies out of the pro- 
tection of the British crown; they ought, therefore, to declare them- 
selves out of his protection and resolve on independence. That their 
proceedings might be in due form, a -^ub-committee, cnsisting of 
Dr. Kphraim Breward. a Mr. Konnon, an attorney, and a third 
person whom I Cio not recollect, were appointed to draft their dec- 
laration. . . . The sub-committee appointed to draft the resolutions 
returned, and Dr. Ephraim Brevard read their re[)ort, as near 
as I can recollect, in the very words we have ^^ince seen them several 
The public timc> in print. It was unanimously adopted, and shortly afterward 
it was moved and seconded to have proclan-:ation made, and the 
people collected, that the proceedings be read at the court-house 
door, in order that all might hear them. It was done and they were 
received with enthusiasm. It was then proposed In- some one aloud. 
to give three cheers and throw up ihcir hats. It was immediately 
adopted and the hats thrown. ..." 

In a memoir of his life Rev. Ifumphrey Hunter,* who was present 
at the meeting in Charlotte, being then twenty years of age, and 
deeply interested, says : "Orders were presently issued by Colonel 

*"This memoir is dated in 18^7 and appear? to !"• a rc-ponse to a 
request made liy Dr. .Vkxander (Joseph McKnin), and thus loses, 
in some degree, '^he autlioritv to w iiich it mieht otherwise have been 
entitled had it been a contemporaneous prorlnction." (.Address of 
R. M. Saunders, 185 j.) Hunter was then Seventy-two years of ag'\ 
He died August 21, 1827. 



Tlios. Polk to the several militia companies, that two men. selected '775 

from each corps, should meet at the court-honse on May 19. 1775, ihem.iving 
in order to consult with each other upon such measures as might ''"'''^ 
he thought best to be pursued. Accordingly on said day a far larger 
number than two out of each company were present. . . . Then a 
full, a free, and dispassionate discussion obtained on the various 
subjects for wh:ch the delegation had hi en convened, and the fol- 
lowing resolutions were unanimously adopted: [Resolutions like, 
those published in the Register.] . . . Then a select committee was 
appointed to report on the ensuing day a full and definite statement 
of grievances, together with a more correct and formal draft of 
the Declaration of Independence. These proceedings having been ' 
thus arranged and somewhat in readiness for promulgation, the 
delegates then adjourned until to-morrow, at 12 o'clock. }k[ay 20th, 
at 12 o'clock, the delegation, as above, had convened. The select 
committee were also present and reported agreeably to instructions, 
viz.: a statement of grievances and formal draft of the Declaration 
of Independence, written by Ephraim Brevard, chairman of the said 
committee, and read by him to the delegation. The resolves, by- 
laws and regulations were read by John McKnitt Alexander. . . . 
There was not a dissenting voice. Finally, the whole proceedings The public 
were read distinctly and audibly at the court-house door, by Colonel """""8 
Thomas Polk, to a large, respectable and approving assemblage of 
citizens who were present and gave sanction to the business of the 

The accuracy of the statements made in the manuscripts found 
by Dr. Joseph .McKnitt Alexander was for a generation unquestioned 
in North Carolina. It was only after the discovery of the contem- 
poraneous publication of other resolutions, adopted at Charlotte on 
May 31, 1775, of similar import, that any suggestion of inaccuracy 

In 18.3S a Penn>ylvania newspaper of 1775 was found containing Re-;olves of 
several resolutions adopted at Charlotte on May 31. 1775: and in ,]is^^^,ve'red 
1847, a copy of the South Caroiina Gazette and Country Journal, 
published at Charleston, of the date of June 16, 1775, was found. 
It contained a full series of resolutions adopted at Charlotte. May 
31, I775- Later other papers were found containing, in part, the 
same resolutions. Xo contemporaneous reference to any other res- 
olutions than those of May 31st has ever been discovered. 

After the Resolves of May 31st were brought to light in 1847 
many persons believed that they were the only ones adopted at 
Charlotte, while others adhered to their belief in the genuineness 
of the "Declaration of May 20th." The subject has been ably dis- 
cussed by some of the most eminent of our citizens. The original 


«775 papers, the half sheet in the handwriting of John AtcKnitt Alexan- 

der, the full ?heet in the unknown handwriting, the Davie copy 
with its certificate, and other documents connected with the subject 
passed into the hands of Governor D. L. Swain, but are now lost. 
Recently a copy of the North Carolina Gazette, published at New 
Bern June i^, 1775. was found, containing the Resolves of May 31st. 
and a transcript of the same Resolves, published in the Ca[^c Fear 
Mercury, probably in the issue of June 23, 1775, sent to England by 
Governor Josiah Martin, has been found and published. It is to 

Hoyt, ije observed that at the period of the first publication there was 

I he ^ 

Mecklen- no questiOH as to the particular details, and the witnesses gave testi- 

Indf, 376^ mony concerning the general subject that in May. 1775, there were 

proceedings in Mecklenburg declaring independence. 

;. Some described the public meeting at which the resolutions were 

,-. proclaimed by Colonel Polk: others did not mention that meeting. 

The Alexander document of 1800 states that the delegates met on 

May 19th and continued in session until 2 o'clock on the morning 

of the 20th, when the resolutions were adopted, and makes no 

reference to any public meeting. Rev. Humphrey Hunter states 

.• that the meeting was on the 19th, and on the 20th there was the 

;_ public proclamation. General George Graham and several others 

testify, to the best of their recollection and belief, that the meeting 

.V was on the 19th and that there was a public meeting on the 20th. 

General Joseph Graham says that the delegates met on the 20th 

' and that the resolutions were adopted, and shortly afterward were 

proclaimed. Other witnesses give an account of the public meetmg. 

Many merely say that the proceedings were m May, 1775. 

The The evidence shows that there were some meetings of the leading 

Resolves of citizens ; that Colonel Polk caused the election of two men from 

M.iy 31st fit 

the _ each militia district, w ho met in Charlotte in May ; that there was 
a protracted meeting extending into the night ; that the next day the 
resolutions having been adopted were proclaimed at a large public 
meeting by Colonel Polk and were received with enthusiasm. 

General Joseph Graham says: "One among other reasons offered 
was that the king or ministry had by proclamation or some edict 
declared the colonies out of the protection of the British Crown." 
That idea finds expression in the preamble to the Resolves of May 
31st published at the time, and is not referred to in the Alexander 
document of ifctoo. 

Mr. Simeson says: 'Tn addition to what I have said, the same 
committee appointed three men to secure all the military stores for 
the county's use — Tliumas Polk, John Phifer and Joseph Kennedy. 
I was under arms near the head of the line, near Colonel Polk, and 
heard him distinctly read a long string of grievances, the deciara- 



lion, and military order above." The resolution appointing Colonel '77S 

I'ulk and Dr. Joseph Kennedy a committee to get ammunition, 
as recalled by the witness, is the last of the Resolve.-, of May 3i3t, 
and is not a part of the document of 1800. The testimony of Gen- 
eral Graham and -Mr. Simeson connects the public meeting w uh the 
Resolves of May 31st. 
These and other circumstances lead to the belief that inasmuch What the 

. evidence 

.IS none of the witnesses speak of two public meetings, at \\hK-h prunes 

Colonel Polk proclaimed independence, there was but one such 

meeting: and the Resolutions which he read were those of May 31st. . , - 

published on June 13th in Charleston : June i6th in New Bern and 

June 23d at Wilmington, and in part, in the northern papers. If 

there was any other public meeting, it is not mentioned by any one. 

If ihere were any ot'uer Resolutions ever adi:)pled and proclaimed, no 

copy was preserved. 

Governor Swain thus speaks of the Davie copy: "It was not taken 
from the record ; it is not shown to be a copy of a copy, or that there 
was a copy extant in September. iSoo." 

The authrjr in seeking to give effect to all statements as far as 
they can be made to consist, follows those witnesses who state that 
the delegates convened on the flay previous to the public meeting. 

He follows those who give an account of the public meeting, and 
he accepts the contemporaneous publication of the proceedings as 
fixing the day, and as containing the resolutions, or action taken, that 
being the only contemporaneous evidence. 

V'ariations in recollection, after the passage of forty or fifty years, 
may be expected: and no witness, after forty years had passed, 
would pruhably undertake tQ rcpj^at from memory a set of Resolu- 
tions of which he had never seen a written copy. 

The great leading fact is the public meeting and its incidents, the 
Resolves adopted and ratitied by the people and published to the 
world as the action of Mecklenburg. 

With reference to the difterence in dates, it may be observed ^,|'j'^thru in 
that Rev. Mr. Hunter, who, when writing his memoirs, appears to question 
have copied from .Alexander's document of 1800, putting the meet- 
ing on the 19th of May, states that on that memorable day he 
was twenty years and fourteen days of age: and he also states that 
he was born on the 14th day of May, 1755. That would seem to 
make the date the 2Sth day of May. 

If when the Alexander document was being prepared, the date 
was not ascertained from any record, but was calculated^ and the 
calculation was based on the birthday of a person born previous to 
1752, perhaps the eleven days' difference between the Old and 
New Style may account for Alexander's variation from the true 


1775 date stated in the cnnteinporaneous publications. Some of the wit 

~^ nesses appear to have followed the Alexander document as to the 

date — a matter then of minor importance. 

It is further to be noted that while the Alexander document dif- 
fers from the published resolutions in language, yet it embraces the 
same subject matter, and the purpose seems to have been to give an 
account of the same transaction and event. 

The preamble of the resolutions of May 31 st, "To provide in 
some degree for the exigencies of the county in the present alarm- 
ing period." accords with the purposes of the election of the dele- 
gates stated by the witnesses as leading to the m.eeting. 


(From the A'or/Zi Carolina Gaceite, June 16. 1775- Published at 

New Bern.) 

Charlotte Town, Mecklenburg County, May 31st. 

The action This day the committee met, and passed the following Resolves: 

puwrc"" '''^ Whereas. By an address presented to his Majesty by both houses 

meeting ^f parliament in February last, the American colonies are declared 

to be in a state of actual rebellion, we conceive that all laws and 

commissions confirmed by. or derived from, the authority of the 

king or Parliament are annulled and vacated, and the former civil 

constitution of these colonies for the present wholly suspended. To 

provide in some degree for the exigencies of this county in the 

present alarming period, we deem it proper and necessary to pass 

the following Resolves, viz.: 

I. That all commissions, civil and military, heretofore granted 
by the Crown to be exercised in these colonies, are null and void, 
and the constitution of each particular colony wholly suspended. 

II. That the provincial congress of each province, under the direc- 
tion of the great continental congress, is invested with all legislative 
and executive powers within their respective provinces, and that no 
other legislative or executive power does or can exist at this time in 
any of these colonies. 

III. As all former laws are now suspended in this province, and 
the congress has not yet provided others, we judge it necessary for 
the better preservation of good order, to form certain rules and 
regulations for the internal government of this county, until laws 
shall be provided for us by the congress. 

IV. That the inhabitants of this county do meet on a certain day 
appointed by this committee, and having formed themselves into 
nine companies (to wit: eight for the county, and one for the town 
of Charlotte), do choose a colonel and other military officers, who 

THE RESOLVES OE .UJi' 5/, 7773 451 

-hall hold and exercise their several powers by virtue of this choice, 1775 

aiKl independent of Great Britain, and former constitution of this 

v. That for the better preservation of the peace and admin istra- 
tiun of justice, each of those companies do choose from their own 
body two discreet freeholders, who shall be empowered each by 
himself, and singly, to decide and determine all matters of contro- 
\ersy arising within the said company, under the sum of twenty 
shillings, and jointly and together all controversies under the sum 
of forty shillings, yet so as their decisions may admit of appeal to 
the convention of the select men of the whole county; and also, that 
any one of these shall have power to examine and commit to con- 
finement persons accused of petit larceny. 

V'l. That those two select men, thus chosen, do, jointly and to- 
gether, choose from the body of tlieir particular company two per- 
sons, properly qualified to serve as constables, who may assist them 
in the execution of their office. 

VII. That upon the complaint of any persons to either of these 
select men, he do issue his warrant, directed to the constable, com- 
manding him to bring the aggressor before him or them to answer 
the said con-.plaint. 

V'TII. Thar ib.ese select eighteen select men thus appointed do 
meet every third Tuesday in January, April. July, and October, at 
the court-house in Charlotte, to hear and determine all matters of 
controversy for sums exceeding forty shillings, also appeals; and 
in cases of felony, to commit the person or persons convicted 
thereof to close confinement until the provincial congress shall pro- 
vide and establish laws and modes of proceeding in such cases. 

IX. That these eighteen select men, thus convened, do choose a 
clerk, to record the transactions of the said convention; and that 
the said clerk, upon the application of any person or persons ag- 
grieved, do issue his warrant u-< one of the constables to summons 
and warn the said offender to appear before the convention at their 
next sitting, to answer the aforesaid complaint. 

X. That any person making complaint, upon oath, to the clerk, 
or any member of the convention, that he has reason to suspect 
that any per-on or persons indebted to him in a sum above forty 
shillings do intend clandestinely to withdraw from the county with- 
out paying the debt; the clerk, or '^uch member, shall issue his war- 
rant to the constable, commanding him to take the said person or per- 
sons into safe custody, until the next sitting of the convention. 

XI. That when a debtor for a sum above forty shillings shall 
abscond and leave the county, the warrant granted as aforesaid shall 
extend tc any goods or chattels of the said debtor as may be found, 


and such goods or chattels be seized and held in custody by the 
constable for the space of thirty days, in which term, if the debtor 
fail to return and discharge the debt, the constable shall return the 
warrant to one of the select men of the compnny where the goods 
were found, who shall issue orders to the constable to sell such a 
part of the said goods as shall amount to the sum due; that when 
the debt exceeds forty shillings, the return shall be made to the 
convention, who shall issue the orders for sale. 

XII. That receivers and collectors for quit rents, public and 
county taxes, do pay the same into the hands of the chairman of 
this committee, to be by them disbursed as the public exigencies may 
require. And that such receivers and collectors proceed no further 
in their office until they be approved of by. and have given to this 
committee good and sufficient security for a faithful return of such 
moneys when collected. 

XIII. That the committee be accountable to the county for the 
application of all moneys received from such officers. 

XIV. That all these officers hold their commissions during the 
pleasure of their respective constituents. 

XV. That this committee will sustain all damages that may ever 
hereafter accrue to all or any of these officers thus appointed, and 
thus acting, on account of their obedience and conformity to these 

XVI. That whatever person shall hereafter receive a commission 
from the Cro'un, or attempt to exercise any such commission here- 
tofore received, shall he deemed an enemy to his country; and upon 
information being made to the captain of the comipany where he 
resides, the said captain shall cause him to be apprehended and 
conveyed before the two select men of the said company, who, 
upon proof of the fact, shall commit him the said offender into safe 
custody, until the next sitting of the convention, who shall deal 
with him. as prudence may direct. 

XVII. That any person refusing to yield obedience to the above 
Resolves -hall be deemed equally criminal, and liable to the same 
punishment, as the offenders above last mentioned. 

XVIII. That these Resolves be in full force and virtue until in- 
structions from the general congress of this province, regulating 
the jurisprudence of this province, shall provide otherwise, or the 
legislative body of Great Britain resign its unjust and arbitrary pre- 
tensions with respect to America. 

XIX. That the several militia companies in this county do pro- 
vide themselves with proper arms and accoutrements, and hold 
themselves in constant readiness to execute the commands and direc- 
tions of the provincial congress, and of this committee. 


XX. That this committee do appoint Colonel Thomas Polk and '77; 

Dr. Joseph Kennedy to purchase 300 pounds of powder. 600 pounds 
nf lead, and 1000 Hints; and doiiosit the same in some safe place 
hereafter to be appointed by the committee. 

Signed by order of the committee. 

Eph. Brev.\rd, 
^ Clerk of the committee. 

Extract from Report of Historical Manuscripts Commission. Four- ' ' 

tccnth Annual Report. Appendix, part X (.1895) ; Presented to 
both Houses of Parliament by Command of her Majesty. 

(Manuscripts Earl of Dartmouth, vol. LI., Amer. Papers, p. 323:) 

North Carolina 
N. D. (May 31, 1775) resolutions (20) of a committee of the county 
of ilecklenburg in North Carolina, signed at Charlotte Town, by 
order of the committee, Ephraim Brevard. Suspending all laws 
and commissions given by the Crown, and proposing measures to 
establish a go\crnment for the province. 

Four folio pages. 

Endorsed: In Governor Martin's of June 30, 1775. No. 34. ^^ntby^^ 

\V. H. Hoyt, "The Mecklenl»urg Declaration," at page 276. gives a Gnvemor 
copy of these Resolves, transmitted by Governor Martin. They are 
the Resolves of May 31, 1775. 

Extracts from the records of Mecklenburg County 

.•\pril, 1775. ] At an Inferior Court of Pleas and Quar- 

North Carolina, '^ ter Sessions begun and held for the 

Mecklenburg County, i county of Meck]en!)urg. on the third Tues- 

■' day in April, 1775. 

Present the Worshipful 

Robert Harris. ^ 

Hezekiah Alexander, v Esqrs. 
Robert Irwin. } 

July, 1775. ) At an Inferior Court of Pleas and Quar- The king's 

North Carolina. s ter Sessions begun and held in the said Mecklen- 

Mecklenburg County. ) county, on the third Tuesday in July, 1775. ""^^ 
Present the Worshipful 

Robert Harris, \ 

Abraham Alexander, I Esqrs. 
Robert Irwin. j 

454 Tlir. MrXKUlXlU'RC RESOLIT.S. ijj, 

1775 October. 177-. ) e t. 

~<~ , „ , - ^anic as above. 

3d 1 ucsoay. \ 

Tanuarv, 1776, 1 o i 

■ _ ' , '- bame as above. 

3d 1 uc'sdav. \ 

April. 1776. I 
3d Tuesday. \ 

Same as above. 

Conditions in May 

At Philadelphia the Xnrth Carolina deputies were carried 
away by the enthusiasm that pervaded the northern colonies. 
Hooper wrote to Harnett and to Sam Johnston iirgini^ the 
necessity of havings a provincial convention immediately after 
the adjournment of the g-eneral congress, and apprehensions 
were expressed lest North Carolina should delay too long 
the organization of troops. But even then companies were 
being formed throughout the province, and in Rowan. ]^Ieck- 
lenburg, Tryon and in otiier counties public action emanated 
from the militia districts. 

Mecklenburg declares independence 

Indeed, so far from the peo[)le of North Carolina beinu 
indifferent or supine, a step forward was now taken 
in Mecklenburg County that was far in advance of the 
desires of either Hooper, Hewes, or Caswell, or their asso- 
ciates in congress. It was a declaration of independence. 
In }^Iarch and April there had been many meetings of the 
Committee of Safety in Mecklenl)iirg. The occupation of 
Boston by a hostile British army was a thorn in the tlesh. 
The inhal)itants of that town were suff"ering from their 
adherence to the rights of America, and again the cry rang 
through.out Mecklenburg that the cause of Boston was the 
cause of all. In May came the exciting news that Parlia- 
ment in its address to the king had declared the colonies in 
rebellion, and therefore out of the protection of the law. 
The leaders felt that a storm wa^ about to burst on the 
heads of the patriotic peo{)le. It was determined to prepare 
for it. Public meetings were held in various parts of the 
country, and the prevailing sentiment \vas found to be one 
of resolution. After conference. Colonel Thomas Polk, the 
commanding officer of the county, called for an election of 
two representatives from each of the nine militia di.-tricts of 



liio county to take into con.SKleration the >tatc 01 the comitry 
•ind to adopt such measures as seemed necessary to safe- 
.'uard their Uberties. The election was held and amid great ;:-^^Xm; 
'xcitement the delegates convened at Charlotte, and with P-^el" "^ 
them came tlieir friends and neighbors, so that nearly one- 
li:iir of all the arms-l.)earing men of the county assembled m 
that little hamlet. As great as was the occa.-ion. the excite- 
ment was largely increased by the arrival of the news of the 
battle of Lexington, which had swept through the country 
like a wdiirlwind, stirring the people to the profoundest 
depths. To the meeting came all the leading inhabitants, 
the Polks, Alexanders, Brevards, Davidsons, and all who ^^^^^^^^ 
were leaders in thought and action. They met on the 30th meeiing 
day of rvlav. in the court-house, and Abraham Alexander 
wa's called 'to the chair. A number of papers were read. 
Stress was laid on the action of Parliament declaring the 
colonies in rebellion. As they were held to be rebels, the 
leaders urged that they should renounce their allegiance 
and declare themselves independent. An objection was 
made: If we resolve on independence, how shall we be 
absolved from the oath of allegiance we took after the Regu- 
lation battle? With hot indignation the answer came— 
That allegiance and protection were reciprocal; when i)ro- 
tection was withdrawn, allegiance ceased. Independence s^-;'^^^'^^"^', 
was resolved on, and a committee composed of Dr. Graham 
Ephraim Brevard an'l others was appointed to prepare the 
resolutions. The discussion continued far into the night, 
and then the delegates adjourned to reassemble at noon. 
At twelve o'clock the following day, the delegates again met ^^.^yj^-^-^^ 
and the resolutions prepared by Dr. Brevard were read and 

It was resolved that all commissions granted by the 
Crown were null and void : that no other authority than that 
of the Continental Congress and the provincial congresses 
existed in any of the colonies ; that military officers should i;;^^?^"'^- 
be elected who should hold their offices independent of Great 
Britain, and an independent local government was provided 

These bold resolutions having been adopted by the dele- 
gates, it was determined that the action taken should be 


12J2 proclaimed at the court-liouse do(,ir, and be formally an- 

nounced to the {)eo|-)ie. who, animated by ardor, patrioti-ni 
and. excitement, had come together in great nmnbers to par- 
May ticipate in the proceedings of the day. Colonel Polk, tlu 
leader in. the measure, standing on the high steps of the 
court-house, read the resolutions to the eager crowd ; and ih*.- 
people with much enthusiasm approved and endorsed thi- 
Statements ^Tst asscrtion of independence. As a manifestation of their 
Cummhis,"" approval cheers were given, hats were thrown into the air. 
Hunter'" ^^^ ^'''^'^^^ cntluisiastic applause the people ratified the great 
action taken by the delegates. Mecklenburg thus first gave 
expression to that spirit of indeperidence which later 
developed elsewhere, finally leading to a total abandonment 
of all desire for reconciliation with the mother country. 

By these Resolves all laws and commissions emanating 
from the royal government were annulled. an(i the former 
civil constitutions of the colonies were declared wholly sus- 
pended: and also it was declared that no other power existed 
in any of the provinces but the provincial congresses under 
the direction of the Continental Congress. 
The It being decreed that all laws, commissions, and authoritx 

government werc abrogated, there was established a new government to 
replace the old one. The plan provided that the inhabitants 
of the county should form themselves into nine military com- 
panies, and choose a colonel and other military of^cers, who 
should hold their power by virtue of the people's choice, and 
independent of the Crown and of tlie former constitution of 
the province : that each of these companies should appoint 
two freeholders to exercise judicial functions under the 
name of "selectmen" : that these eighteen "selectmen" should 
hold a court for the county, and should meet at Charlotte 
quarterly for that puq->ose. 

It was further decreed that any person thereafter receiv- 
ing any commission from the Crown, or attempting to exer- 
cise any commission theretofore received, should be deemed 
an enemy to the country and should be apprehended. All 
public moneys collected were to be paid to the chairman of 
the Committee of Safety; the military companies were to 
hold themselves in readiness to execute the commands of the 
general congress and of the committee of the county, and 

f Si meson; 


Colonel Thomas Polk and Dr. Joseph Kennedy were directed ^m 

to purchase a supply of ammunition. 

Tliose who an[)eared to take the lead in the {proceedings 
resulting in this action, according to the recollection of James '^.,1 
Jack, were Hezekiah Alexander, who g-enerally actefi as 
chairman ; John McKnitt Alexander, as secretary ; Abraham 
Alexander, Ailam Alexander, Major John Davidson, Major 
William Davidson. Colonel Thomas Polk, Ezekiel Polk, 
I")r. Ephraim Brevard. Samuel Martin, Duncan Ochletrec, 
William WiH--,n. and Roliert Irvin. Others mentioned r'-^^c-o^ 
were Waight^till Avery. William Kennon. William Graham, 
John Flenniken, James Harris and David Reece. 

These Resolutions of the people of Mecklenburg com- 
pletely overthrowing the colonial government and establish- 
ing a free and independent government founded on the will 
of the people, were published on June 16, 1775, at New Pjcrn, 
in the North Carolina Gazette . and on June 13th in 
the newspaper at Charleston, and in the Cape Fear Mer- 
cury, published at Wilmington, probably in its issue of 
June 23d. Their publication produced a profound impres- 
sion. The action at Mecklenburg, indeed, stirred the hearts 
of the patriot leaders and awoke enthusiasm in the breasts 
of their associates throughout the colony, while they aroused 
the ire of Governor Martin and caused dismay among the 
adherents of the Crown. 

WTight, the royal governor of Georgia, hastened, 
June 20th, to transmit a copy of the Charleston paper to 
England, and Governor Martin forwarded the Cape Fear 
Mercury, saying: "I daily see indignantly the sacred majesty 
of my royal master insulted, . . . his government set at naught 
. . . and the whole constitution unhinged and prostrate, and 
I live, alas ! ingloriously only to deplore it. The Resolves 
of the committee of Mecklenburg, which your Lordship 
will find in the enclosed newspajier, surpass all the horrid 
and treasonable publications that the inflammatory spirits of 
this continent have yet protluced. ... A copy of these Re- 
solves, I am informed, were sent off by express to the con- 
gress at Philadelphia as soon as they were passed in the 
committee." And on June 23th, two days after the publica- 
tion at \\'ilmington, ami as soon as he could convene the 

C R , X, 


^^^ council at Fort Johnston, he brought to its attention "the laU' 

c R , X, 33 most treasonable i)ublication of a committee in the counts 
of 2\Iecklcnhurg, ex{)!icitly renouncing obedience to his 
Majesty's government and all lawful authority whatsoever"; 
and on August 8th. in a proclamation, he said : "I have al^i 
seen a miost infamous publication in the Caf'c Ecc,r Mcrcitrv 
importing to be resolves of a set of people styling themselvc> 
a committee for the county of Mecklenburg most traitor- 
ously declaring the entire dissolution of the laws, govern- 
c. R., X, ment. and constitution of this country, and setting up a sys- 
'** tern of rule and regulation repugnant lo the laws and sub- 

versive of his Majesty's government." 

The }ilecklenburg committee, conscious of the important 
advance they had made, determined to send a messenger post 
. haste with their resolutions to the congress at Philadelphia. 

James Jack, young and vigorou^s, and a determined patriot. 
, undertook the task. At Salisbury, on Thursday. June ist, 

I Colonel Alexander ]\Iartin, who had been appointed by Gov- 

ernor ^lartin a judge under the temporary act creating 
courts of oyer and terminer, opened a term of his court.* 
Colonel 2\Iartin was a deputy from Guilford to the second 
provincial convention, which had recently adjourned, was an 
earnest patriot, and. together with the other delegates, had 
signed the association of the Continental Congress. On the 
same day the Committee of Safety of Rowan also met at 
c. R., X, Salisbury. Rowan differed from Mecklenburg, as a much 
larger proportion of its inhabitants had been Regulators 
and were bound by the oath imposed by Governor Tryon, 
and the Rowan committee sought by nioderate resolutions to 

*The charge of Judse Alexander Arartin at this term of the court 
has been preserved (the Si'iith Carolma Gazette and Country Jour- 
nal of July II. 1/75). in it he extolled the right of trial by jury, 
"which our gloriou- ancestors waded through seas of blood to obtain. 
and compelled even majesty to ratify by that sacred paladium of 
British liberties, the Grand Charter. This, with other peculiar rights 
and privileges, the sovereigns of Britain through a long series of 
ages have plighted their faith by a most solemn oath to maintain ; 
and for thi- kmgly protection the subject has bound himself by as 
solemn a tie to hold alKgiance and obedience to them so long as 
they shall continue to hold forth, secure and defend these choice, 
incalculable blessings to their people; this is that great, that recipro- 
cal union between the king and the people." The judge inveighed 
against popish recusants. "Let me dismiss you. then, gentlemen," 
he said, "with this serious injunction: to support and defend, as far 



Muluce the cooperaLiL-n of those not iiichned to adhere to the ^^ 

eaiise of th.e colonies. The committee, not yet bavins? infor- ^""^'^J^ ^^ 
ination of any proceedings at Charlotte, wrote an elaborate 
adilress to the committee of IMecklenburg- requesting an ac- 
count of their proceedings, promising a like return on their 
part, and beseeching them by the ties of their common Prot- 
e.-tant religion to exert themselves for the maintenance of 
their chartered rights. But before the court had ended, and 
it afljourned on Tuesday, June 6th, Captain Jack reached 
Salisbury on his way to Philadelphia. At the request of 
the court, he handed a copy of the Resolutions to Colonel 
Kennon, and they were read aloud in open court. That j^J'J?'" 
evening Major William Davidson and Waightstill Avery statement 
called at the lodgings of Captain Jack and informed him chat 
they had heard of but one person, Mr. Beard, a prominent 
attorney and a cautious man, who did not approve of them. 
Captain Jack proceeded to Philadelphia and delivered the 
Resolutions to Caswell and Hooper, Xorth Carolina delegates 
in congress. 

On the publication of the Resolves at Xew Bern. Richard 
Cogdell. the chairman of the Committee of Safety, for- 
warded the newspaper to Caswell, at Philadelphia, saying; Lettersat 
"You will observe the Z^Iecklenburg Resolves exceed all other "''*'" 
committees or the congress itself." .\bout a vreek later, on 
June 27th. Samuel Johnston, on whom rested the mantle of 
the lamented Harve)-. wrote to Joseph Hewes, at Philadel- 
phia : "Tom Polk. too. is raising a very pretty spirit in the 
back country (see the newspapers). lie has gone a little 
farther than I would choose to have gone, but perhaps no 
farther than necessary." Ihat it was generally understood 
that these Resolves constituted a declaration of independence, 
while establishing a new government, is evident from the 
records of the ^loravian Church at Bethania of events 
occurring during the year 1775. 'T cannot but remark at 

as in you lies, the constitution and the laws of your country, the 
iu-t prerogatives of the Crown ,Tnd the declared rights of the people. 
This is liberty, this is loyalty: do you thus, loyal gentlemen, and you 
will be free."' The addres-. whdo asserting loyalty, touched on those 
points that were particularly a cau-e of excitement anion.g the Pres- 
byterians of the west, and gave prominence to the idea of a reciprocal 
union betv.cen the kir.g .ind the people, which if broken on one side, 
freed the other from allegiance. 



the end of the 1775th year/' wrote the annahst, "durini- th,' 
aSr -^"mrncr of this year, that in the month of May or June tiio 
county of Mecklenburer, in North Carohna. declared itself 
free and independent of En-land, and made such arrange- 
ments for the administration of justice, which proceedini^ the 
Contmental Congress at this time considered prematitre 
afterward, iiowever. the Continental Congress later extended 
same over the whole country."* 

The Mecklenburg Resolves carried to Philadelphia were not 
officially brought to the attention of congress, and no ref- 
erence was made to them in the proceedings of that body, f 
The congress was not prepared for the step taken. As yet 
the government of king and Parliament was recognized' as 
lawfully subsisting, and congress, the provincial assemblies 
and conventions were still protesting in solemn form un- 
■• u:r:„:, swerving allegiance, as faithful subjects, to their king and 
-•; ■ .f country. 

^- ■" • The avowed purpose was still complete reconciliation; 

and this was not yet a forlorn hope, for America was not 
witiwut friends in England. As congress saw it on one 
side stood the deceived monarch, his irate "ministers of state, 
the profligate part of the nobilitv, and the corrupt majority 

In England of the Housc of Commons : these drag an armv to blow up 
the blaze of civil war." On the other, a prince of the blood, 
the most illustrious among the nobilit\-. the most eloquent 
and virtuous commoners, the city of London and the body 
of the English nation— these being the affectionate friends 

C.R..X, 37 of America and of liberty. Distinguished officers retired 
from tlie army rather than lift a hand to crush liberty in 
America, saying the result must needs be the destruc'tion 

*Tran^!ation from the diary of Bethanv Church, written in German 
furnished the authnr by Rev. J. H. Clewell. principal of Salem 
l^emaie Academy. The statement made, that the Contmental Con- 

f^''^hJ''\^l'v'} ''''"''' ?7'" l''^ '"'^"'^ country, must have reference 
to the establishment of local government bv committees independent 
ot the Crown, unless the annalist wrote after 1776. Miss Fries of 
ialem.^ who has investigated the subject, asserts that he wrote in 1782. 
fAIthnugh the newspapers at Philadelphia were stronglv for the 
U higs. they d:d not reproduce the Mecklenburg resolves 'from the 
Larolma neu spnpers. while other papers at the north did. This leads 
to the hehet that Congress sousht their suppression as being out of 
harmony with its (Hoyfs "The Mecklenburg Declara- 


of liberty in Britain and the establishment of tyranny anil '2^ 

Jcapotism on the ruins of the British constitution. The 
inavor and aldermen of London presented a remonstrance J""c 
to the king-, expressing their abhorrence of the measures 
being" pursued to the oppression of their fellow-subjects in 
America; but his Majesty rolled under his tongfue the word 
"rebellion" — for the Parliament had declared that the col- 
onies were in a state of rebellion — and the royal purpose 
was to crush them into submission. 

Yet congress still hoped by the aid of friends in England ^^^°hnped' 
to secure a restoration of former conditions with a recog- f-r. Ji^^y 3th 
nition of the traditional rights of the American colonies. 
On July 8th, after a dutiful address to his Majesty, reassert- 
ing their allegiance, congress issued an address to the inhab- 
itants of Great Britain : '"We are accused of aiming at inde- ^- ^^ ^• 


pendence. . . . Give us leave most solemnly to assure you 
that we have not yet lost sight of the object we have ever 
had in view — a reconciliation with you on constitutional 
principles. . . . We have . . . again presented an humble 
and dutiful petition to our sovereign, and, to remove every 
imputation of obstinacy, have requested his Majesty to direct 
some mode by which the united applications of his faithful 
colonists may be improved into a happy and permanent 

The voice of Mecklenburg was thus out of harmony with 
the solemn declarations of congress, and no notice was taken 
of that first advance into the realm of independence — the 
annulling of the old constitution and of colonial laws and the 
ordaining of an independent government by the people 
themselves as the only source of power and sovereignty. 

But while congress hoped for peace, it was to be on terms .Apprehen- 
satisfactory to America. To wring concessions from the 
imperious ministry, a bold and defiant front was necessary. 

The North Carolina delegates in congress, fearing that 
the people at home were too supine, on June 19th united c. r., x. 30 
in a stirring address, which they sent to the committees of 
all the counties: "'We conjure you by the ties of religion, 
virtue, and love of country to follow the example of your 
sister colonies and form yourselves mto a militia. The elec- 
tion of the officers . . . must depend on yourselves. Study 



^ the art of military with the utmost attention ; view it a- 

a science upon which your future security depends/' 
J""e _ Daily it became more and more evident that the contest 

laiarmy was to bc dccidcd On the battlefield. The men in arms 
at Boston were local minute men, drawn together from the 
adjoining provinces, commanded by their local officers. On 
June 15th congress made a great step forward, and adopted 
that army and placed it on a continental footing. Washing- 
ton was chosen commander-in-chief. On the 20th he re- 
ceived his commission, and the next day he departed from 
Philadelphia for the seat of war. But while all eyes were 
centred on Boston, congress, in view of Governor Martin's 
activity, became apprehensive for the safety of North Caro- 
lina, and, like the delegates, urged the people to embody as 
militia under proper officers : and on June 26th it resolved 
that if the provincial convention should think it necessary, 
it might raise a thousand men in North Carolina, and con- 
gress would consider that force a part of the American 
army, and take it into the pay of the continent. 

Thomas Jefferson 

On June 21, 1775. while Captain Jack was still lingering 
at Philadelphia, after presenting the r\Iecklenburg Resolves 
declaring independence and establishing an independent gov- 
ernment for that community. Thomas Jefiferson, a newly 
appointed delegate from \'irginia, arrived and for the first 
time took his seat in the Continental Congress. He had just 
achieved fame as the author of the \^irginia resolutions 
rejecting the conciliator}' proposition of Lord North. The 
ink was hardly dry with which he had penned his earnest 
appeal "to the even-handed justice of that Being who doth 
no wrong, that we may again see reunited the blessings of 
liberty and prosperity and the most permanent harmony with 
Great Britain." Like John Adams. Hancock, and all the 
other members of the congress. Jefferson was expecting to 
remain a British subject, and desired the "most permanent 
harmony with Great Britain"; and if he then heard of the 
]\Iecklenburg Resolves, if he then knew of the mission of 
Captain Jack to the congress, his thoughts were so far out 
of harmony with the proceedings at Mecklenburg that he 


dismissed them from his mind and forsjot them: he and his U/J 

associates were not yet in favor of such revolutionary 

The Regulators 

Towarfl the end of June Caswell set off from Philadelphia 
to attend tlie convention, which was to convene on July 12th. 
After his departure congress received copies of General 
Gage's letter to Governor Martin, promising to send for- 
ward ammunition, and of Governor Martin's letter askingj- 
for a king's standard, and Hooper and Hewes became still 
more alarmed because of the situation in North Carolina. 
The reliance of Governor ]\lartin was not only on the co- 
operation of the Highlanders, but on expected aid from the 
Regulators in the interior. From Dan River to the South 
Carolina line, from the forks of the Yadkin to the Haw and 
the Deep, there were thousands of inhabitants who had never 
been pardoned and who still called themselves "an unhappy c. r., ix, 
people," subject to the penalties ot their tormer insurrection. 
It seemed necessary to remove their grounds of apprehen- 
sion — to place before them considerations why they should 
assist in maintaining the rights of the people as British sub- 
jects, and to assure them that the movement was not a rebel- 
lion with the object of seeking independence. To accomplish 
this purpose. Hooper and Hewes enlisted the aid of the Pres- 
byterian ministers at Philadelphia and also of the German 
Lutherans and Calvinists. The Presbyterian ministers c. r., x, 
joined in an address to the Presbyterian congregations in jui"%7S 
North Carolina, declaring that "there was no desire to sep- 
arate from the parent state. Believe no man that dares to 
say that we desire to be independent of our mother country," 

♦In the correspondence of .\dams and Jefferson in i8ig referring 
to the Mecklenburg declaration both say in substance: "Would not 
every advocate of independence have rung the glories of Mecklen- 
burg' in North Carolina in the ears of the doubting Dickensons v.-ho 
hung so hcavilv on us-" They evidently had in mind a subsequent 
period— when they themselves were advocating independence: not 
the summer of 1771. when they were still seeking reconciliation with 
the mother country. Tlie .Mecklenburg Resolves appear to have been 
suppressed in Philadelphia, not being admittt;d to publication there, 
while published in whole or in part by papers at other points at the 


^Zlt The advices from Philadelphia and the efforts made to 

reconcile the disaffected element in the interior of th^ prov- 
mce and to bring- them to a support of the common cause 
were calculated to arrest for a time the influences that 
attended the action at Charlotte. The pendulum swurnf back- 
ward.* Allegiance was not disavowed, althouc^h t':>e people 
prepared for war. Court proceedings continued to be held 
in the name of the king, and notwithstanding on August 1st 

Atthewest i -r> • i i <. i i > » 

the Kov.-an committee resolved that one thousand volun- 
teers be immediately embodied in this county, elect their 
staff officers and be ready at the shortest notice to march 
out to action," and an earnest address was issued calling 

^ , on the people to "rouse like one man in defence of our 

,. ,, religion from popery, our liberty from slavery, and our lives 

from tormenting death." yet on the same day the inferior 

court of Rowan County met and '"his majesty's commission 

of the peace was publicly read," and John Oliphant, W. T. 

c. R., X, Coles, and William McBride, Esqs.f took the oaths pre- 

134, 135. '39 ^crji^ed by law. and proceeded to business : and Waight- 
still Avery, Esq., was appointed attorney for the Crown in 
the absence of John Dunn, Esq.. deputy attorney. Farther 
to the west, however, the profession of loyalty was condi- 
tional. The committee of Tryon County, at its meeting on 
August 14th, adopted an association, which was also to be 
signed by the other inhabitants of that county, "uniting 
under the most sacred ties of religion, honor, and love of 
country, and engaging to take up arms and risk our lives 
and fortunes in maintaining the freedom of our country," 
and arranged to obtain powder and ball for the companies 
of that county ; but resolving unanimously "that we will 
continue to profess all loyalty and attachment to our sov- 

c R.,x, ereign lord. King George III, his crown and dignity, so 


"••Tn Mecklenburg the inferior court of pleas and quarter sessions 
continued to be held by the magistrates theretofore appointed by 
Governor Martin, meeting on the third Tuesday in July, 1775. and 
the third Tuesday in October, and so on quarterly, the record show- 
ing as '"present the Worshipful Robert Harris. Abraham Alexander. 
Robert Irwin. E^qrs.." the proceedings continuing reeularly from 
April, 1775. till July. 1776. without interruption. On one occasion, 
however, an acting magistrate was taken from the Bench and sent 
to prison by order of the chairman of the committee. — Simeson's 


long" as he secure? to us those rig^hts and liherties which '^^^ 

the prhiciples of our constitution require." J"'v 

Elsewhere the action was not different — protesting loyalty, 
but g^ettin,£;f rea<ly a supply of powder and ball. On July 1st 
the committee of Pitt County resolved that, "We will pay ^'" '^^"'"''^' 
all due allegiance to his Majesty, King George III ; . . .at 
the same time, we are determined to assert our rights. . . . 
and that, under God, the preservation of them depends on a c. r , x, 61 
firm union of the inhabitants and a sturdy, spirited observa- 
tion of tlie resolutions of the general congress." "We do 
hereby agree and associate under all ties of religion, honor, 
and regard for posterity." And the captains of the differ- 
ent companies were directed to call their men together to 
choose officers. 

The clashing in Anson 

In Anson, where there had been many Regulators, Colonel county 
James Cotton, the lieutenant-colonel of the county, remained 
loyal to the government, and the people were much divided. 
Under his influence the Loyalists signed a protest against 
the proceedings of the Continental Congress, but the Com- 
mittee of Safety and their friends were zealous. On 
May 25th they began to seize some of the leading men lis-i^s' ' 
among the disaffected, confining them as prisoners and en- 
deavoring to persuade them to abandon their allegiance. 
Early in June Colonel Spencer was urging the people to sign 
the association, saying that the king had broken his corona- 
tion oath, and the people were absolved by his example. On 
the second Tuesday of July about thirty of the committee 
met at the court-house and elected Colonel Spencer captain- 
general, and Thomas Wade and David Love and others were 
chosen captains of their companies. Both sides were active, 
Colonel Cotton ordering out the militia companies under the 
officers who remained loyal, and maintaining communication 
with Governor Martin, and, on July 7th, sending him a peti- 
tion signed by many of the inhabitants : wdiile, on the other 
hand, there were great meetings of the people who stood 
by the Continental Congress, and large numbers enlisted on 
the side of liberty. 

In Surry County the committee, as a prelude to their pro- f^g^' '^^ 


'775 ceedinijs. iii'lited the letrend on their record-book, "Liberty 

or death. God save the kinjir !" 

June After the arrival of Governor ^Martin at Fort Johnston, 

Fear''^^^^^ that point became still more of a storm centre. The situation 
rapidly developed excitement and resolution. Captain Col- 
lett, in command of the fort, was inciting: negroes to leave 
their masters and take refug-e within his lines. He seized 
corn and other supplies, and. infiam.ed by his conduct, the 

c. R., X, j6 people began to subscribe association papers, preparing 
for action. On June i6th the governor issued his procla- 
mation, warning every one that by such conduct they would 
expose themselves not only to the forfeiture of their lands 
and properties, but to the loss of life and everything they 

c. R^, X, Yiehl dear and valuable. Three davs after this proclamation, 
on June 19th, the inhabitants of Xew Hanover, by an asso- 

TheAsso- ciation paper, "united themselves under every tie of religion 

and honor to go forth and be ready to sacrifice their lives and 

fortunes to secure the freedom and safety of their country." 

And the next day, June 20th, committeemen of Duplin. 

Onslow. Bladen. Brunswick, and Xew Hanover assembled 

c. R., x, 26 -j^ general meeting. They adopted the Xew Hanover 
association, which they flirected to be printed, with a 
recommendation to the inhabitants of the district to sign 
it as speedily as possible. It was signed in Cumberland 

c. R., x, 29 by Robert Rowan and his associates, and doubtless by 
the other patriots of the district. A committee com- 
posed of Howe, .Maclaine. and Sam Ashe was appointed to 

c. R , X, answer the governor's proclamation. In the answer they 

'*"*" declared that the resolution respecting America introduced 

by Lord Xorth favoring Xorth Carolina and Xew York, 
which Governor Martin had commended, added insult to 
the injurv it intended: that by it it was hoped to divide the 
colonies, and, by breaking one link in their chain of union. 
render their subjugation more easy; that it was a base, 
flagitious, wicked attempt to entrap America into slavery. 
which ouglit to be rejected with the contempt it deserved; 
and it was a d.uty that the people owed to themselves, their 
country, and posterity by every effort, and at every risk, 
to maintain, support, and defend their liberties against any 
invasion or encroachment whatsoever. On the 25th Gov- 


ernor Martin brought these matters to the attention of the "JJl 

council and it was ac^reed to strenothen the fort, and al>o 
to prorogue the Assembly, that had been called to meet on c r., x. 
July 1 2th, until September. 

In May he had informed the kmg that fourteen hundred 
or fifteen hundred persons in the interior had signed dec- 
larations in favor of the government, and now he wrote that <^J-^^- 
he could collect among the Highlanders three thousand 45.46 
effective men. and still more in the interior counties, where, 
he declared, "the people are in general well affected and 
much attached to me— at least two-thirds of the fighting 
men of the whole countrv. which may be com.puted, accord- 
ing to mv be^t information, to exceed thirty thousand." 
with such views, he projected, after being furnished with 
ten thousand stands of arms by General Gage, raising the 
king's standard and forming an army for the subjugation of 
the'province. He recommended Allan IMcDonald, the hus- ^ ^ ^ 
band of Flora, for an appointment, and Alexander :McLeod, ^g;^;' 
of the marines, and Lieutenant Alexander McLean, also a 
half-pav officer, and other intiuential Highlanders for ap- 
pointment?. For hiniself he begge<i the restoration of the 
rank he held in the army in 1760. a.sking permission to 
command a regiment of Highlanders. Expecting to take c. r., ix. 
the field, he again wrote for a king's standard and also for a "'* 
tent and camp equipage for his own use. His hope of a 
militarv conmiission was. however, disappointed, for the 
king had arranged differently. Determined to follow the 
governor's recommendation to embody a force of High- 
landers, the king directed that they should be under the 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander iMcLean : but 
about the middle of July General McDonald and Major 
McLeod, bearing secret commissions, arrived at Ocracoke 
from New York and proceeded to New Bern. Johnston, 
learning of their arrival, instructed the committee at New c.^^- x- 
Bern to secure them, but they took an oath satisfactory to 
the inhabitants and were allowed to proceed to the interior. 
Emissaries were continually passing from the Loyali-ts to 
the fort, which was being strengthened by new works, so 
as to make its capture difficult. Under these circumstances 
the people of the Cape Fear clamored for a new convention ; 


calls ti.e 

1!^ and the committee wrote to Jo-hnston that "some enterpris- 

ing- men wished to make an effort to take the fort, but were 
j„!v afraid of having- their conckict disavowed by the convention." 

C.R., X, ga The committee thought that a number of men should be 
raised and kept in pay for the defence of the country, and 
that a convention alone could do that. 

On ^lay 31st. Howe, Harnett, and Ashe, knowing of the 
death of Colonel Harvey, wrote urging Johnston to convene 
a convention as soon as possible, and in this request the Xew 
Bern committee concurred. But the Assembly was expected 

c R IX ^^. "^^^^ °" ■^"''^' ^^^^' ''^^"'' Jo^''"ston deemed it best to wait. 

U85 ■■ ' ' When the Assembly was prorogued, he delayed no longer, 
and on July loth issued a call for a convention to be held 
at Hillsboro on August 20th : and he recommended a larger 
representation of the people, not less than five, so that each 
county elected at least five deputies, and the inequality 
of representation which had so long been a matter of vari- 
ance between the old and the new coimties came to an end. 
Elections were held for the convention, but the committee 
at Wilmington could not wait for the body to assemble. 
They concluded that Captain Collett should not be suffered 
to remain in the fort, and communicated that opinion to the 
officers and committees of the neighboring counties. A great 
many volunteers immediately collected. On Julv 15th 
Colonel Robert Howe set out with a detachment for Fort 
Johnston, and the committee resolved that as many men as 
would voluntarily turn out should be despatched to join 
them, and that the officers of the several companies in New 
Hanover should immediately equip those willing to go on 
that service. On the i6th Colonel Ashe, in command, sailed 
from Wilmington. 

ritTrt^tothe ^"'"oi's of thls intended movement led Captain Collett 

cru.z^r hastily to evacuate the fort, the governor himself taking 
refuge on the sloop-of-war Cruizcr, and he directed the 
stores, small arms and ammunition to be transferred to a 
transport that lay in the harbor, the heavy guns to be dis- 

c. R . X, mounted and the fort dismantled. On the same day Colonel 

97, 102. 108. \ 1 • t r 1 if. 

ij2 Ashe, m the name of the people, addressed a letter to Gov- 

ernor Martin, informing him of the purpose to carry the 
cannon away from the fort. But Ashe also had another 

C. R., X 

C. R.X, 


purpose. The design to seiTie the arms and nuinitions at the 11,1^ 

fort being defeated by the quick action of Governor Martin, J"'y 
it was in contemplation by the use of fire-rafts to drive the 
Criiicer and the transport from the river, or burn them, and 
preparations were made to that end : but that design was 
eventually abandoned. 

The Xew Hanover detachment joining Kowe at Bruns- 
wick, the entire force, amounting to some five hundred men. 
proceeded to Fort Johnston, and on the night of July i8th J"'y'8'-"= 
took possession of the fort, to which Ashe set nre. burning 
it so far as it was destructible; and the next day he burne<l 
the dwelling and outhouses belonging to Captain Collett, 
who was so obnoxious because of his conduct, especially his 
efforts to entice the negroes from their masters. The ring- 
leaders of this savage and audacious mob, wrote ]\Iartin, c r.. x, 
were Ashe and Harnett. '°^ 

On the return of the men from the fort, they were met 
by a detachment of some three hundred volunteers from 
Bladen, who had turned out at a minute's warning. There 
was no hesitation. All were eciually resolved. But the 
movement was hasty, and the fort speedily destroyed. Such 
was the first positive act in the way of military operations in 
the drama of the Revolution in Xorth Carolina. The flames 
of Fort Johnston cast a lurid light throughout the province, 
and another impulse was given to popular action. From that 
date Governor ]\Iartin, expelled from the soil of the prov- 
ince, remained on shipboard. From his vessel he beheld 
with varying hopes and fears the progress of the Revolu- R^'v„iuti,,n 
tion. The action of Mecklenburg greatly disturbed him. progresses 
How far would the example be followed by other counties 
in annulling British authority and establishing an indepen- 
dent government? He was anxious to hear from the in- 
terior, from the back country, where he hoped for so much 
aid. and where he supposed the people were attached to 
himself personally. He was disheartened by advices that ^- j^ ^ 
the "people of Bladen were pursuing the example of Meek- ><» 
lenburg." and that in the seacoast counties the people had 
chosen military officers, and were frequently assembling in 
arms. But a considerable body of Germans, settled in 
Mecklenburg, gave him comfort by sending a loyal declara- 


^ tion "ai^ainst ihe very cxtraonlinar)- and traitorous rc.s<')lvc-s 

c. R.. X, of the conimittee of that countv." And the news from An<on 

July was encourao^ircf. There the clashing anions: the people 

was. even at that early date, so violent and bitter as to be 
incipient civil war, and Colonel Cotton continued to send 
assurances of the steadfast devotion of a large number of 

From bis first arrival at the fort, Governor Martin con- 

{v trived to maintain some correspondence with the loyal ele- 

. .,, , ment in the interior, and it being apprehended that he was 

organizing the Highlanders, the Wilmington committee early 

., forbade any intercourse with him except by their permission. 

,; On July 3d, it being reported that Allan McDonald in- 

tendeil to raise troops to support the government, the com- 
mittee addressed him on that subject, requiring him to 
desist : and Joseph Hewes wrote emphatically on July 8th : 

c. R., X, 86 "If the governor attempts to do anything he ought to be 
seized and sent out of the colony : so should" Judge Howard. 
Communications had been addressed by the governor to 
staimch friends in the interior to enroll loyal adherents and 
to sign association papers. Letters of that tenor had 'been 
received by John Dunn and Benjamin Booth Boote, two 
influential Lo}-alists at Salisbury. On July i8th they were 
put under guard by the Rowan committee, were examined, 
arrested, and, unrjer the ord.ers of Colonel Alexander ^Martin 

«.'!3'6^i34, < then judge >, Adlai Osborn, Colonel Spencer and Colonel 

306,673-679 Polk, they were, at th.e close of July, conveyed by a detach- 
ment of light horse to South Carolina, where they were 
confined by the South Carolina authorities. A year later, 
while they were on parole, Boote took the oath as a supporter 
of the American cause, and Dunn became a good patriot. 
But in 1780 Boote joined Cornwallis's forces on the invasion 
of South Carolina. 

At the time of the arrest of these men, August ist, the 
Rowan com.mdttee ordered that one thousand volunteers be 
immediately emboched in that coimty. elect their stall officers 
and be ready at the shortest notice to march out to action. 

c. R, X, In Anson the zeal of Colonel Spencer, Wade and their asso- 
ciates was irresistible, and Colonel Cotton an-l his loyal 
militia were overpowered. Disheartened at the turn of 

Dunn and 




aflairs, Cotton, with several of his mo.-,t tlcvoted ^ 

~ct out to rci)ort to the pn-ornor. and reached the Cnti-cr ~" 

..[1 Auq-ust 13th, i)earing evil tidings of their (Hsconititure. 
( )n their attempted return they were apprehended by the 
vigilant coniniitteemen in Bladen, and subsequently, under 
■stress of circumstances, took the test oath and submitted 
themselves to the authorit} of the congress. 

At the end of July, it being learned that the governor The 
hin.self intended going into the back country, the Wilming- tlZ'vTsUd 
ton committee advisctl the committees of the ditterent 
counties of his design, and requested them to keep a strict 
lookout and arrest him. The unremitting activitv of the 
I>atriots. however, rendered such a movement too hazardous : 
but still it was the cherished purpose of Governor ]\Iartin c. r., x, 
to penetrate into the interior and marshal the Loyalists, and, "* 
confident of his military prowess, try conclusions with the 


The Proxincial Cou:>;cil, 1775-76. 

The spirit of resistance. — Martin's proclamation. — The Congress.— 
The leaders. — The oonditinn.'?. — The people divided. — Efforts to 
gain the Regulators.— Proceedings of Congress. — Franklin's confed- 
eration. — Independence not the object. — The first bairalioiis, — The 
minute men. — Cnnnty courts. — The test. — The money of the Revolu- 
tion. — To provide necessaries. — Congress adjourns. — Enlistment of 
troops. — The safety of Wi'mir.eton. — The plan of subiupation.— 
Arrival of Kigh!an''ers. — Provincial counci'. — Tories ^v.d V\'higs. — 
The Indians pir.cated. — The Scove'lites. — The Snow Campaign.— 
Howe marches ag^amst Dunrnore. — Norfolk destroyed. — Armed ves- 
sels built. — Tr.e ministerial troops. — In England. 

The spirit of resistance 
L"J In the rncantia:ie the spirit of resi.stance was nourished 

Atigust, 1775 bv men like Hewes, who declared that "the powers of gov- 
ernment must scH-in be taken into the hands of the people." 
"The administration," said he, "has even tried to let loose 
the Indians on our frontier, to raise the ne.q;roes ag;ainst us, 
. . . and have sent a formidable army to cut our throats, and 
then abuse us with the names of rebels and cowards." "I 
consider myself now over head and ears in what the ministry 
call rebellion. I feel no compunction for the part I have 
taken, nor for the number of our enemies lately slain in the 
c. R.. X, 8-. battle at Bunker's Hill. I wish to be in the camp before 
Boston, though I fear I shall not be able to get there till 
next campaign." 

Martin's proclamation 
c. R.,x, On August 8th Governor IVIartin issued a manifesto de- 

'*^''^° noimcing the leaders of the sedition and treason, and warn- 

ing the people against being seduced to their purposes. 
Particularly were Hf^oper. Hewes and Caswell. John xAshe 
and Robert Howe singled out for denunciation. His chief 
design was to appeal to the people to remain loyal. He 


realized that the convention was to be held at 1 

Hillsboro with the view of influencing the inhabitants of August 
the interior, and this effect he sought to counteract by skil- 
fullv phiying on the fears and hopes of the people. He 
dwelt on tlie faithful loyalty of those in the western counties, 
who had theretofore "resisted all the black artifices of false- 
hood, sedition, and treason," and who. upon his representa- 
tion, had "received the king's most gracious approbation and ^ ^ x, 
acceptance." Particularly he mentioned those in "Dobbs, 
Cumberland, Anson. Orange, Guilford, Chatham, Rowan, 
and Surry," who he declared had given him more "especial 
and public testinionials of their loyalty, fidelity, and duty" ; 
but he tendered to all his Majesty's most gracious pardon on 
their return to their duty to their king; and he otTered 
ample reward and encouragement to any who should deliver 
up to him the few principal persons who had seduced them 
to treasonable outrages. :• 

The Provincial Congress* 

Indeed, the ettorts of the two contending parties were 
now anxiously directed to obtaining popular support. Samuel 
Johnston had counted on the influence the convention nught 
exert, and to popularize that body he had urged the elec- 

*The names Convention and Congress are often applied indiffer- 
ently to these bodies. It is to be observed that those of August, 
1774, and April, 1775. called themsehes conventions and were pre- 
sided over by a moderator. That of September. 1775, called itself a 
congress and elected a president. The first two claimed to be '.awful 
meetings of the people, assembled for a legal purpose under the con- 
stitution. The object then was to remonstrate against an infringe- 
ment of constitutional rights. By September, 1775, the character of 
these bodies was changed. I'hey were not mere lawful meetings of 
the people to remonstrate. They were revolutionary bodies, ordain- 
ing government and e.Kcrcising administrative and legislative powers. 
Perhaps they took the name of congress to conform to a new .Ameri- 
can system — making a difference between the former government and 
that then established. The authority of the British Government was 
no longer respected — that of the Continental Congress had taken its 
place. The people no longer claimed to be acting under the constitu- 
tion of the British Empire. 

The Congress differed from the Convention in the manner of 
voting. In the Convention the members voted as in the Assembly, 
each casting a vote. In the Congress the counties voted, each county 
having a single vote, without regard to the number of deputies m 
attendance. In the Continental Congress each colony had one vote; 
in the Provincial Congress each county had a vote, and in the Pro- 
vincial Council each district had a vote. 

474 THE PROriXCIAL COUSCIL, 177 5-7^ 

^773 tion of an increased delci^ation from each count}-, the number 

c. R., X. not beinc,^ limited. Bertie had sent eleven delegates, Chat- 
August ham ten, Dobbs. Wake. Rowan, Guilford, seven each ; ]\Ieck- 
lenburj^. Tryoti. Bute, New Hanover, six each; and the 
other counties five; the entire membership numbering: one 
hundred and eighty-four. This enlarged representation re- 
sulted in the attendance of many men of the first capacity, 
who had not theretofore been employed in legislative 

Sunday. August 20th, opened with the straggling hamlet 
of Hillsburo aglow with unusual excitement. Se\-eral store-. 
an insufficient court room, a dozen widely separated resi- 
dences, a church building and a small inn for the wayfaring 
traveller constituted the village, where now were assembling 
the representatives of the people. At noon those members 
who ha<l arrived assembled in the church, but immediately 
adiourned until the next day. On Monday, the 21st, at 
ten o'clock, one hundred and eighty-four delegates ansv.-ered 
to their names, and Ricliard Caswell, just from the Con- 
tinental Congress, proposedi Samuel Johnston for president 
of the body, and Rev. George ]\Iicklejohn opened the con- 
gress with prayer. 

Events had moved rapidlv since the last convention in 
April — the battles of Lexington and Bunker Hill, the de- 
struction of Charlestown, the formation of independent com- 
panies, the organization of a continental army, th.e proceed- 
ings at Charlotte, the flight of the governor, the burning of 
Fort T'^hnston, and the expulsion of the royal governor from 
the soil of the province, and the cessation of the provincial 
legislature. The established government had ceased to exist. 
And so the convention was confronted with new conditions. 
No light was shed upon the pathway by past experience, but 
with resolution the members addressed themselves to the 
great questions {^resented for their consideration. It was the 
largest meeting of representative Carolinians that had ever 
assembled. The last convention was composed of but sixty- 
seven members ; this was near three times as numerous. The 
two previous revolutionary bodies had been called ciMiven- 
tions: this now assumed the name of the Provincial Congress. 
The others had not entered on legislative action ; this pro- 


posed to make l.-iws to bind the people muier the sanction 'ZJI 

of legitimate ijower, and to exert the authority of estab- August 
lished government. 

The leaders 

Although tlie thirteen counties that might be allotted to 
the west sent some seventy deputies, the preponderance was 
still with the east, and the vote was taken by counties. But 
Person and Penn. the Martins, Polk, Avery and Spencer, 
John McKnitt Alexander, Moses Winslow. Kennon and 
Sharpe, Burke, the Williamses, Armstrong and Winston 
were strong and mighty leaders, speaking the patriotic senti- 
ments of the west. The northern counties and the eastern, 
as well as the Cape Fear section, also sent their most trusted 
and experienced men. Such a gathering of great North 
'- *■ Carolinians, forceful and determ.ined. had never before 
assembled to take counsel of their liberties. Although the 
venerated form of John Harvey v.'as missed, there \\ere Sam 
Johnston, the younger Plarveys, the Xashes, Caswell. Howe, 
Hewes, Harnett, Hooper, the Joneses, the ]\Ioores,the Ashes, 
the Sumners. Kenan. Owen, Robeson. Guion. Bryan, Lamb, 
Jarvis ; and. indeed, all the giants of that generation gath- 
ered there to secure and maintain the freedom of their coun- 
try. The future, full of personal peril, was veiled in obscur- 
ity, but their hearts were brave, their course determined, and 
thev had at least some light from the assembled wisdom of 
the Continental Congress. 

V The conditions 

As vet hope of reconciliation was still entertained, and 
thev were to make a last appeal for their rights as British 
subjects, professing allegiance and disclaiming any desire for 

But war was flagrant, and every preparation was to be 
made for the inevitable conflict. Proclaimed rebels and 
traitors seeking independence, they were to organize resist- 
ance to internal and external foes, while still asserting that 
they sought only those chartered rights they had inherited 
from their fatliers as subjects of Great Britain. The old gov- 
ernment having passed away, its head a fugitive, and the 
Assembly suspended, the congress was to ordain some gov- 


»77S eminent to preserve peace and order, to administer justice 

August and to conduct military operations. 

The people were divided. Lari^e bodies not conversant 
with the causes of the revolt, strangers to the hopes and fears 
of America, not in sympathy with North Carolina, had but 
recentlv located in her borders, while many thousands of the 
older inhabitants held aloof, not comprehending: that their 
liberties had been invaded and that the hour had struck to 
resist British acrgression. It was the computation of Gov- 
ernor Martin that two-thirds of the inhabitants were yet 
loyal and would rally to the standard of the kin.q-. To sever 
these ties it was the part of Congress to demonstrate the im- 
potency of the British Government and to manifest contempt 
for the power and authority of its chief representative. 
c.R.,x,i8o Among their first actions, therefore, was to denounce Gov- 
ernor Martin's recent proclamation and to order "that the 
said paper be burned by the common hangman." 

In like manner, to counteract the blandishments and the 
threats of Governor :\Iartin. who, through his emissaries, 
endeavored to persuade the Regulators that they remained 
liable to punishment unless pardoned by the king, and that 
their pardon could only be obtained by taking up arms 
against those who were defending American liberty, the 
congress at its first opening resolved that every one of 
the late insurgents ought to be protected, and that it would 
protect them from any attempt to punish them for engaging 
in the late insurrection ; and a committee, composed of Maurice 
c. R., X, Moore. Caswell. Thomas Person, Kennon, Locke, Rev. Mr. 
'^ Pattillo, tlunt, Burke. Penn, and others, was appointed to 

confer with those inhabitants of the province who entertained 
any religious or political scruples, and to induce them to 
heartilv unite with congress for the protection of consti- 
tutional rights. This committee was to influence not merely 
the Regulators, but the Quakers and others who had scruples 
preventing their active co-operation. Person alone had 
affiliated with the Regulators, unless, indeed. Memucan Hunt 
had done so; but Penn. although he had but lately come into 
the province, doubtless was a favorite with them ; and Judge 
Moore had in 1772 held as a judge that they were not lial)le 
to punishment under the riot act; as "Atticus," had severely 


denounced Governor Tryon for his "inhuman conchict" in 'J'2 

relation to Few and the other ResTulators : had visited James August 
Hunter at his home and had souy-ht "to get him into favor 
again, and had promised to do all that he could for William 
Butler" : and doubtless had been instrumental in inducing 
the Assembly to in>ist on embracing Hunter in the pro})Osed 
act of oblivion, the contest between the council and the 
Assembly over his pardon leading to the failure of that 
measure. Lc'cke. Kennon, Pattillo. and Burke were, in like 
manner. doul)tless influential among those who were dis- 
attected : while the addition of Ca>well, Thomas Jones, and 
George Moore to the committee gave an assurance that the 
congress wa- not merely seeking to persuade, but that it 
would faithfully observe the obligations which it assumed 
to give every protection in its power to those who would 
co-operate with it. 

A similar committee was appointed to confer with the c. R., x, 
Scotchmen who had so lately arrived in the province, of '"' '^* 
whom more than one thousand had reached the Cape Fear 
within the past few months, and explain to them the nature 
"of our unhappy controversy" : and still another committee, 
Judge Aloore. Hooper, Caswell. Hewes. and Howe, was ap- 
pointed to present the controversy in an easv. familiar stvle 
to the inhabitants of the province. 

These ettorts were not without avail. Quicklv following 
the appointment of the committees, there was a conference 
held with the chiefs of the Regulators. Thev had some 
scruples about the oath administered to them bv Governor 
Tryon ; but some of them at once signed the test or associa- c. r., x, 
tion, others from time to time gave in their adherence, and ""^^ 
others still agreed to neutrality, so that as early as Septem- 
ber 9th apprehensions of danger from them were no longer 

By the middle of C^ctober Governor Martin realized the c. r.,x,266 
success of these endeavors, and wrote to the Earl of Dart- 
mouth : "According to my information, a committee was 
appfjinted by this Provincial Congress to gain over the late 
insurgents in the western counties, who had heretofore made 
to me the strongest professions of their loyalty and duty to 
the king and of their resolution to support his Majesty's 

4/8 THE PROf'fXClAL COCXCIL, 1775-76 

U.'li government, as also to treat with the Cherokee Imhans ; and 

c. R., X, 111V intcHicence runs that this committee received assurances 

265, 360 • * 

from the former that they would observe a strict neutrality, 
but T can learn nothing of its success with the Indians." 

In like manner, the efforts to influence the Hic:hlanders 
were attended with good results. Governor Martin continued : 
"I have heard, too, . . . with infinitely greater surprise 
and concern, that the Scotch Highlanders, on whom I had 
such firm reliance, have declared themselves for neutrality" ; 
and this result he attributed to Farquard Camplx-ll. "wdio 
has been settled from his childhood in this country, is an 
old member of the Assembly, and has imbibed all the Ameri- 

'1 ' can popular principles and |ireju<lices." 

Nor was the pulpit silent. Ministers of the gospel urged 
their flocks to stand for their riglits. In Guilford, 

■ > •! David Caldwell, the leading Presbyterian of the prov- 
ince, from the pulpit raised a powerful voice for 
unity of purpose and co-operation in maintaining American 
libertv. Succinctly and graphically he portrayed existing 
conditions and eloquently urged the duties of patriotism. 
Curuthers's "AVe p'Ctitioned ,■' said he. "his ^lajesty in a most humble 
manner to intercede with the Parliament on our behalf. Our 
petitions were rejected, while our grievances were increased 
bv acts still more oppressive, and by schemes still more 
maliciou-. till we are reduced to the dreadful alternative 
either of immc'liate and unconditional submission or of re- 
sistance by force of arms. We have therefore come to that 
trving period in our history in which it is manifest that 
the Americans must either stoop under a load of the vilest 
slavery or resist their imperious and haughty oppressors: 
but what will follow must be of the utmost importance to 
every individual of these united colonies. ... If we act like 
the sluggard, refuse, from the mere love of ease and self- 
indulgence, to make the sacrifices and eiTorts which the cir- 
cumstances require, or, from cowardice or pusillanimity, 
shrink from dangers and hardships, we must continue in our 
present state of bondage and oppression . . . until life itself 
will become a burden; but if we stand up manfully and 
unitedlv in defence of our rights, appalled by no dangers and 
shrinking from no toils or privations, we shall do valiantly. 

»'■ I" 

2S3. -84 


Our foes are powerful and determined on conquest; but our ^^ 

cause is good, and in the strength of the Lord., who is August 
mightier than all. we shall (irevail. . . . If I could portray to 
vou . . . the results of your cr.nduct in this great crisis in 
vour political .le^tiny; or if I could d.escribe . . . the feel- 
ings which you will have of self-approbation, joy, and thank- 
fulness, or of self-reproach, shame, and regret, according to 
the part you act — whether as men and a^ patriots, or as 
cowards antl trait'^rs — I should have no ditiiculty in persuad- 
ing you to shake otr your sloth and stand up manfuU}' in a 
firm, united, and persevering defence of your li]:)erties. . . . 
We expect none of you will be wanting in the discharge 
of your duty, or prove unworthy of a cause which is so 
important in itself, and which every patriot and every Chris- 
tian should value more than wealth, and hold as dear as 
his life." 

Proceedings of the Provincial Congress 

Realizing that the American colonies were embarked in a 
common cause, the congress resolve<l that the inhabitants of 
Xorth Carolina should pay their full proportion of the ex- 
pense of maintaining the army and conducting its opera- 
tions ; and recognizing that the former government had 
passed away, and that it was necessary to institute a new 
one for the province, a committee of fifty members was ap- 
pointed to prepare a plan of government to meet the exi- 
gency of the occasion. 

Mr. Hooper presented for the consideration of the con- 
gress articles of confederation, which had been framed for 
submission to the several provincial conventions, prelim- 
inary to their adoption by the Continental Congress. This c. r., x. 
instrument conferred on the general congress the power of 
making war and peace; of entering into alliances: of deter- 
mining on reconciliation with Great Britain; of settling all 
disputes between colony and colony, and of making ordi- 
nances necessary to the general welfare. The proposed con- 
federacy of the united colonies was to continue until the 
terms of reconciliation proposed by congress should be 
agreed to by Great Britain, until reparation should be made 
for the injury done to Boston and the expenses of the war 

48o THE PROVIXCIAL COUXCfL. i7',":.-76 

IJ^^ repaid, and until all British troops should be withdrawn from 

Proposed America. On the failure of these requirements, the con- 

articles oi , ' — v^i. 

confederacy tcdoracv was to bc pcrpctual. It could not have been ex- 
rejected , ' , , 

pecteo that these demands would ever be assented to hv 

Great Britain ; and thus, in ettect, this proposition was to 

establish a perpetual union or confederacy, on the basis of 

independence. Such was the measure offered bv William 

Hooper to the convention on August 24, 1775. ^^ '^'^'^'^s taken 

into serious consideration. 

.McRee'5 Johuston. president of the convention, on September 5th 

1.203 ' wrote to Tredeil: ""I was much afraid the plan contained in 

it would have been adopted : but in a committee of the whole 

• • house, thouq-h they at first seemed inclined to receive it. 

after hearing- the reasons ottered against it, it was almost 
unanimously rejected." By its provisions equ.alitv among 
the colonies was abolished and the smaller ones placed at 
the mercy of the larger; this doubtless caused its rejection. 

• , When it was rejected, by the recommendation (^i Johnston 

himself, the congress declared tliat ""the present association 
ought to be further relied on for bringing about a recon- 
ciliation, and that a new confederacy ought to be adopted 
, ■!■ only in case of the last necessity." Through Johnston's 
wisdom they had escaped a danger ; and the delegates were 
instructed not to consent to any plan of confederation until it 
should be approved by the Provincial Congress.* 

Independence not the object 

As yet independence v^-as not the purpose of the patriot 
leaders, and the members of the congress signed a test pro- 
fessing their allegiance to the king, while declaring theiu- 
selves bound by the acts of the continental and provincial 
c. R , X, congresses ; and they issued an address to the inhabitants of 
the British Empire, saying: "We have been told that inde- 
pendence is our object; that we seek to shake off all con- 
nection with the parent state. Cruel suggestion ! Do not 
all our professions, all our actions, uniformly contradict 
this?" They declared, in the presence of the Almighty 

*Thi3 proposed constitution invested the Continental Congress 
with power to regulate commerce, post roads, and tlie currency. 
The representation was to be one delegate for every 5000 polls, and 
each delegate was to have a vote. 



Heing. who "knows our most secret intentions, that it is HJ^ 

our most earnest wish and prayer to be restored ... to the 
state in which we were pln.ced before the year 1763." "This 
declaration we hold forth as a testimony of loyahy to our 
sovereign, and affection to our parent state, and as a sincere 
earnest of our i>resent and future intentions." 

In this the congress but followed the example of the gen- 
eral congress of the colonies at Philadelphia. There was to 
be no discord in the voice of America in seeking justice of 
friends and kindred in Great Britain. 

The design of Governor Martin to embody the Loyal- 
ists was a constant peril, threatening the peace and repose 
of the province : while the Indians and negroes, aroused by 
British emissaries, might at any time fall upon the wdiites. 
Preparations to meet such contingencies were quickly made. 
The Continental Congress having agreed to receive a thou- ^"'."'^""^ 
sand men raised by the province as a part of the continental 
army, two regiments of continentals, of five hundred men 
each, were at once organized. Four lumdred of them were 
to be stationed in the district of Wilmington, one hundred 
of these being located in the vicinity of Fort Johnston, two 
hundred near Salisbury, two hundred near Xew Bern, and 
two hundred near Edenton. Of the first regiment James 
Moore was chosen colonel, his competitor being John Ashe, 
who was defeated by a single vote; Francis Nash, lieutenant- 
colonel; and Thomas Clark, major. Robert Howe, Alex- c.r.,x,i87 
ander jMartin. and John Patten were the field officers of the 
second regiment. The captains, lieutenants and ensigns were 
also appointed, and these at once became active in raising 
their companies. 

For an additional military force the province was divided 
into six districts, and a battalion consisting of ten companies 
of fifty men each was to be raised in each district. These '^''""'e men 
were known as minute men. and as soon as the com- 
panies were filled the battalions were to be formed, and 
they were to be trained at once for fourteen days, and after 
that were to be mustered every fortnight in their counties. 
The colonels of the minute men were, for the Edenton 
district, Edward Vail; for that of Halifax. Nicholas; 
Salisbury, Thomas Wade ; Hillsboro, James Thackston ; New 


^^ Bern. Richard Casv.ell ; \\'iIininq;ton. Alexander Lillincctoii ; 

c.R.,x, 197 and these officers were to take rank from the date of tlicir 
commissions, which was to be determined hy the organiza- 
tion of their respective battalions. 

These minute men were to be enlisted for onlv six months, 
and a bounty was allowed them of twenty-five shillings "'to 
buy a liunting shirt, leggings, or splatter-dashes, and black 
garters. ■■ which constituted their uniform. To promote the 
organization of the minute men and regulars, congre-s 
thought it well to disband the independent companies that 

c. R., X, had been formed in the various counties. The militia, too. 
was organized, field officers being appoinied for each county. 


The plan of government 

c. R.. X, '^\\^ plan of temporary government devised provided for 

^"^ town au'l county committees, elected by the freeholders : 

and that in each district there should be a Committee of 

■ ' Safety consisting of a president and twelve members, who 

Provincial sh(juld sit at Icast every three months, having a superin- 
tendmg power over the town and county committees, direct- 
ing the operations of the militia, and censuring and punish- 
ing delinquents ; and there was to be a Provincial Council of 
thirteen members, two selected from each district and one 
by the congress at large ; this council to have full power 
to do all matters and things to defend the colony, but not 
to alter or suspend any resolution of the congress. The 
Provincial Council and committees of safety had judicial 
powers conferred on them and the right to give judgment for 
all demands not in excess of £20. 

c. R., X, It was further ordained that on the third Tuesday in 

October in every year the freeholders in each county were 
to choose committeemen and. also five deputies to represent 
them in congress, and that there should be annually held on 
November loth a Provincial Congress. Committees of 
secrec}'. intelligence, and observation were to be chosen by 
the town and county committees, who had power to exam- 
ine all suspected persons and semi them to the district com- 
mittees of safety. 

The courts of oyer and terminer were held for the sum- 
mer term of 1775. but then ceased. 



C. R., X, 

The coiigre?s di<l not interfere with the orq-anization of 
the inferior courts, but recommended that the ma,G,'i>trate5 
appointed by Governor Martin should quahfv and act: how- Au^-ust 
ever, it directed that after September loth no suit should 
he beo-un in any court or before any magistrate without 
leave from the county committee. With the assent of the 
local committees of public safety, judicial proceedings were 
to continue, and the county courts were regularly held dur- 
ing this chaotic period. 

The congress also adopted a test, which was required to The test 
be taken by all delegates to the Provincial Congress; and 
later it was required to be subscribed by all persons holding 
any position of honor or trust; and. still later, by all the c.^R- x, 
inhabitants generally. "^ 

Hooper. Hewes. and Caswell v/ere thanked for their ser- v ■ 
vices in the Continental Congress, and were re-elected, and 
thev were invested with such powers that all acts done by 
them not inconsistent with instructions should be obligatory 
upon every inhabitant of the province; but Caswell and 
T<>hnston being elected treasurers, as they had formerly been 
bv the Assembly, Caswell declined to serve as a deputy. 
Rejiiaining in tlie province, besides being treasurer, he l.-e- 
came a colonel of minute men. To fill that vacancy. John 
Penn. who had come to North Carolina from \'irginia about 
a vear earlier, was chosen. Some dissatisfaction had been 
felt originally that the three deputies were from the eastern 

*[ Adopted September 9. 1/75, required to be subscribed by all vestry- 
men and others liolding places of trust.] 
We. the subscribers, professing our allegiance to the king and 
acknowledging the constiiutionai ext-cutive power of government, 
do solemnly profess, testify and declare, that we do absolutely be- 
lieve that neither the Parliament of Great Britain, nor any member 
or constituent branch thereof, hath a right to impose taxes upon 
the-e colonies, or to regulate the internal police th.ereof, and that 
ail attempts bv fraud or force to establish and exercisesuch claniis 
and powers are violations of the peace and security of the people, 
and ought to be rcisicd to the utmost, and that the people of this 
province, singlv and collectively, are bound by the acts and resolu- 
tions of the continental and provincial congres.-es. because in both 
thev are represented by persons chosen by themselves: and 
we'do solemnlv and sincerely promise and engage, under the sanction 
of virtue, honor, and the sacred love of liberty and our country, to 
maintain an.! svipport all and every the acts, resoiutinns and regula- 
tions of the -aid continental and provincial congresses to the utmost 
of our power and abilities. 



part of the province, and Penn was now taken probably as ;i 
September westcm man and as a friend of Thomas Person, both beint; 
representatives of Granville County. 

To provide means to sustain the new tj-overnment, it was 
directed that a sum of $125,000 should be emitted in bills, 
the standard being the Spanish milled dollar, departing from 
the British currency of pounds and shillinii^s for palpabU- 
reasons ; and a tax of two shillings a year on every taxable 
person was laid, to be collected in 1777 and for nine years 
thereafter, to pay off this indebtedness ; and the congress 
recommended that all public taxes due should be paid by 
the people ; but, except the county and parish taxes, those 
laid by the old government to accrue in the future were not 
to be collected. 

The congress took steps to obtain a supply of arms and 

ammunition, and, realizing the necessities of the situation 

because of the cessation of importations, it offered bounties 

'' ., for the manufacture of the most important articles. Among 

'' ■■ the com.modities whose production it sought to stimulate 

;• • •.. (• Yvei-e saltpetre, sulphur, and gunpowder, common salt, iincn 

and woollen goods, hollow^ ironware, pins and needles, and 

wire for cotton cards and woollen cards : and a considerable 

'• ' • bounty was oft'ered for the erection of rolling mills for the 

production of nails, a furnace for the manufacture of steel 

and of pig iron, and for a mill making various kinds of 

paper. Not only were the needs of the army to be supplied, 

but the necessities of the people were to be provided for. 

Congress adjourns 

Its business being now well completed, on Sunday, Sep- 
tember loth, at six o'clock in the morning, the congress met 
in its last session. It had solved the momentous questions 
of that eventful day. It had established a system of gov- 
ernment, and had provided for its perpetuation. It had 
raised troops for the defence of the province and created 
a public fund. It had appealed to the mother country for 
reconciliation, and had drawn to the support of the cause 
many who had been wavering. With brighter hopes and 
with greater confidence, and yet not without apprehension, 
the members now returned to their homes. 


At once the many military officers, both continental and 'JJz 

,.f tiic minute men. whose rank was to be determined by 
their promptness in the organization of their command, 
entered with zeal upon the work of securing enlistments. 
Ihroughout the province there was the greatest activity. R«f""'"e 
!:s[)eciallv was this so on the lower Cape Fear. John Ashe, 
so long the military leader of his district, defeated in his 
a>i)irations, mortified at his enforced separation from his 
troips, determined not to be without a command. Gov- 
ernor Martin wrote in October: "It is possible also that the 
resentment of Mr. John Ashe, occasioned by his disappoint- 
ment of the chief command of the military establishment 
formed by the Provincial Congress, will cause some division 
here, for it seems he and his friends are raising men of their 
own" authoritv, in opposition to Mr. James Moore, his 
brother-in-law. who is appointed military chief under the c_k..\, 


Mr. George Hooper is quoted as saying "that he could 
never forget General Ashe's return from the convention of 
Ilillsboro in September, 1775. He was in a slate of pro- 
digious excitement. His object was to raise a regiment, and 
he accomplished it. You cannot imagine what a commotion 
he stirred up. He kindled an enthusiasm in New Hanover 
and adjacent counties of which there is no parallel in the 
traditions of the State. He struck the chords of passion 
with a master hand. His words roused the soul like the roll 
of the drum or the roar of artillery at the commencement 
of an action. Every breast heaved, as if with the sentiment 
of the Athenian orator. "Let us away! Let us arm! Let 
us march against Philip !" " Not only was Ashe's proposed f^Zulf 
regiment in conflict with Moore's regulars, but also with V'^'uni 
Lillington's minute men. Their respective friends were all ^J■-«•■gy^^- 
activity. Wearing the legends on their hats, "Who will not 
follow' where Ashe leads?" "Who will not follow where 
Lillington leads?" they dashed from community to com- 
munity, from neighborhood to neighborhood, arousing the 
people and securing enlistments for their corps. At his own 
charges, Ashe raised a regiment. an<l for some time main- 
tained it out of his private purse. The final organization 
of Lillington's battalion was perhaps delayed by this irreg- 


»77s ulnr i>roceedin,<T. ]\[oore was more successful, and soon hail 

his continenta! rcL;imcnt fully orcranized, two companies ».if 
which were stationed near Fort Johnston, where the\' were 
fired on by the British cruisers in the harbor. 

335036^" '^^^'^ h.ostile diemonstrations of tliese ships of war led the 

\\'ilminq;ton committee to direct John Slingsby and others 
to procure necessary vessels and chains to sink in such part 
of the channel as they thought proper to prevent their asccm 
up the river. 

Martin's It had becu Governor Martin's expectation in July to re- 

*='""> ceive a supply of arms and munitions, and with these he hoped 
to equip a sufificient force of Highlanders and Regulators nut 
merely to subjugate the province, but also to hold South 

c. R.. X, Carolina and Georgia. Later he realized that the time for 

306-30 ^j^,^^ j^.^j passevl, and, without aid from the British army, 

he wouM be unable to carry out bis cherished design. At 

; . . , length his plan received the sanction of the ministry, and on 

. ., . . September 22d an expedition was arranged to subdue the 

■: , , southern colonics. On Xovember 7th Dartmouth wrote him 

' ;;v • that seven regiments might be expected to reach the Cajie 

Fear about the time that letter would be received, and that 

he should lose no time in sending emissaries among the 

:, inhabitants with authority for raising and embodying as 

many men as could be procured, bringing down with them 
horses and wagons for. the use of the army. of jj-j j^|,g meantime Highlanders continued to arrive — about 

Highlanders '^ 

the middle of October one hundred and seventy-tw^o, a little 
later another shipload, and early in December a shipload 
reached Norfolk, wdio desired permission, which was given. 
to pass by land to their destination in Carolina. On the 
upper Cape Fear ]\Iajor McDonald, who had recently 
arrived, under the orders of General Gage, was forming a 
battalion of Highlanders to be commanded by Colonel 
McLean; and Allan McDonald and Alexander McLeod, 
c. R., X, each having commissions, were enrolling companies, dov- 
ernor ^^lartin also became more hopeful of aid from the 
Regulators on learning that many had become indignant 
with the action ^>i congress at Hillsbor<^; and he was per- 
suaded that the loyal subjects infinitely outnumbered the 



^cilitious throughout all the very populous counties of the ^^ 


In the presence of these threatened dangers, the Provincial Provincial 
(/ouncil held its first meeting at the court-house in Johnson Oct., 1775 
County on October 18th. Cornelius Harnett was unani- 
mously elected president, perhaps because it was his section 
iif the province that was in peril, as well as because of his 
capacity and zealous activity. It took measures to perfect c.r.,x,28 
the defence of the province, excrcisinrr tlie high powers 
with which ii was invested. Each district had one vote. 

The Indians placated 

The Cherokee and Creek Indians, who had long been 
under the direction of a very competent British officer, John 
Stuart, were being influenced to take sides against the col- 
f'nists. and the Continental Congress had appointed a com- 
mission, one of whom was Willie Jones, to secure their 
neutrality. In October the Creeks met two of these coni- 
missioners at Augusta, and in November Willie Jones and 
tlic other comniissioners convened at Salisbury and sent a 
"talk to the beloved red men in Gec>rgia." urging their 
neutrality and promising the usual gifts which were annually 
distributed among the Indians — [lowder, blankets, trinkets, 
etc., etc. 

On the other hand. Stuart and his agent among the 
Indians, who had first also urged them to neutrality, now 
began to influence them to active hostility. "I found no 
argument." said .Stuart, "prevail so much among the Indians 
as telling them that while the present disturbances contimied 
they could not expect to be supplied with ammunition and 
other necessaries from Carolina and Georgia; and that it 
would be their own interest to join his Majesty's faithful 
subjects in restoring government and good order." He 
therefore recommended that all sup{)lies shoidd for the pres- 
ent be stopped. That, he thought, would determine the 
savages to engage on the side of the British. 

Pursuant to the policy of congress, a supply of Indian 
goods, embracing some powtlcr, was despatched through 
upper South Carolina as a present to the Indians. Several 
years before, during the same period when the Regulators 


'-Zii were active in Xorth Carolina, a movement somewhat sim 

December fj^r had takcH place in that part of South CaroHna. srH-;, ■, 
being disorganized by a social disturbance. Courts an 1 
lawyers having roused the animosity of tiie people, tluv 
undertook to regulate matters without regard to exi.slm- 

Sc'^oveiiites "^agcs. Their chief leader was a man named Scovell. aii^i 
they were generally known as Scovellites. After they wcrv 
dispersed they were out of sympathy with the other inhal>- 
itants ; indeed, there was a wide stretch of unoccupied terri- 
tory intervening between their habitations and the seacoast 
counties. Most of them remained loyal to the king. It was 
among them, that David Fanning had found- a residence, he 
.., J ... becoming, like them, an adherent of the Crown. Their 
leaders resolved to intercept the powder and goods being 
conveyed to the Indians under a small escort, and emboch- 

, ;^,,, ing a sufficient force, they seized the pack horses, declarini,' 

, , , that the ammunition was being sent to the Indians to enable 

,- them to make war upon themselves. At once ]\Iaior Will- 

,., , iamson marched against them to recover the powder, but 

• .. .- . the ScovcHiles were too strong for his force, and he was 
compelled to retreat, taking refuge in a stockade fort at 

''08^" ^ Xinety-six. where they besieged him. The patriot author- 
ities, aroused to the necessities of action, called on their 
friends in western Xorth Carolina for aid, and early in Dc- 

M°an?n' ccmbcr Lieutenant-Colunel Alexander Martin, of the Second 

ni.jrchesio Coutinentals. who hatl in the Salisburv district two com- 

Carolina pauics of continciitals, one of the First Recriment, Captain 
George Davidson, and the other of the Second Regiment. 
,, . .f , Captain John Armstrong, proposed to march to their assist- 
ance. He was joined by 200 men from Rowan under Colonel 
Rutherford. 300 from Mecklenburg under Colonel Polk, and 

c.mrhi'ign ^°^ from Tryon under Colonel Xeal. This body of 700 
X'orth Carolinians reached General Richardson, of South 
Carolina, and Colonel Thompson, of the Third South Caro- 
lina Regiment, at Saluda River about December i6th. when 
the Scovellites hastily abandoned their efforts on X^inety-six, 

c. R.. X, gave up the siege and returned to Saluda River. Unaware 
of the near approach of this new patriot force, they were 

Graham's surpHscd ou December 2Jd ami 400 of tliem taken prisoners. 

Gr^ahain. ^n thc cngagem^cnt Colonel Polk was wounded. The powder 


which they had seized again fell into the hands of its lawful '77s 

(^vners, and was conveyed to the Indians. The weather dur- 
ing this siiort but eventful campaign was so inclement and 
stormy, with such heavy snows, that it was known to his- 
tory as the "Snow Campaign." 

Still earlier than this expedition beyond the limits of the November 
State was a call from Virginia for aid in repelling British 
operations in the vicinity of Norfolk, where Lord Dunmore 
had begun a predatory warfare, burning houses, ravaging 
plantations and carrving ott negroes. Bv proclamation, he ^owe 

» , , . . ' ' marches to 

declared tiiat ail indented servants and negroes who would aid Virginia 
join his ^Majesty's forces should be free; and several hun- 
dred of the inhabitants, many of them negroes, repaired to 
his standard. Taking possession of Norfolk, Dunmore con- 
structed a fort on the highway from the south for its pro- 
tection ; and Colonel Woodford, in command of the Vir- 
ginia troops, fortified at Great Bridge, a few miles distant. 
The district committees of safety in North Carolina had 
power to call into active service the organized troops of 
the province. To assist the Virginians, the committee at 
Halifax hurried Colonel Long with the minute men of that 
district to Great Bridge, and on November 28th ordered 
Major Jethro Sumner to raise what minute men and vol- c. r., x, 
unteers he could and follow Colonel Long with the utmost 
despatch ; and Colonel Howe, whose chief command was at 
New Bern, was directed to lead his continentals also to 
Norfolk. On December 7th attairs at Great Bridge were 
reaching a crisis. Colonel Woodford wrote to Governor 
Henry : "As to the Carolina troops and cannon, they are by 
no means what I was made to expect ; sixty of them are here 
and one hundred will be here to-morrow ; more, it is said, 
will follow in a few days under Colonel Howe ; badly 
armed, cannon net mounted, no furniture to them." 

Two days later Captain Fordyce, commanding a force of 
British regulars and a detachment of sailors, assaulted the 
\'irginia fortifications. He and many of his otificers were 
killed, and the British were completely routed, with great 
loss, retreating at once into Norfolk. Colonel Howe arrived 
after Colonel Woodford had won this great victory. Wood- 
ford was not a continental officer, and cheerfully yielded the 


7//T PROJ'IXCfAL COUXCIL, 177 x7^ 


in Virginia 

C. i 


, X, 


C. R., X. 

331, 387, 3(i5 

Jan. I. 1776 

command to Howe, as bein^: of superior rank, perhaps the 
more cheerfully as they had served together on the Holstcin 
in the French and Indian War. From that time until Marcli 
Howe continued to direct military operations in lower \'ir- 
ginia ; the immediate command of his req;imcnt devolving on 
Major Patten, Colonel Armstrong being in western North 

Pressing on after the battle of Great Bridge, Howe drove 
the British and the Tories from Norfolk and took possession 
of the town. 

On December 30th Captain Bellew, commanding the Brit- 
ish ships, notihed Colonel Howe that he would not suffer men 
in arms against their sovereign to appear before his 
i\Iajesty's ships, and he warned Colonel Howe that his 
sentinels must not be seen or the women and children miglit 
sutTer — a plain intimation that he proposed to fire on the 
tov.n unless the Anierican sentinels should be withdrawn. 
Hov/e's reply was that he had given orders to his sentinels 
not to fire on any boat unless approaching the sh.ore in a 
hostile manner. But Dunmore's mind was made up. Fie 
proposed to destroy Norfolk, even if it involved the slaughter 
of women and children. Without further warning, about 
three o'clock on the afternoon of the next day. a cannonade 
of one hundred pieces opened on the devoted town and cr.u- 
tinued without interruption until ten o'clock that night. 
Under cover of their guns, the Briti-h landed and sot tire to 
the houses at several places near the water. They landed 
frequently, but were repulsed in every instance. Once, in- 
deed, they reached the street with several field pieces, but 
were driven back with considerable loss. In the m.eantime 
the conflagration spread v.ith amazing rapidity, and the 
women and children, seeking to escape, were subjected to the 
British fire and some of them were killed. For tw^o days 
the fire raged, and nine-tenths of th.e town was destroyed 
before it was extinguished. A midshipman on board the 
British ship Otter thus describes the event: '"The detestcl 
town of Norfolk is no more! Its destruction happenetl on 
New Year's Dav. About four o'clock in the afternoon tlie 
signal was criven from the Liverpool, when a dread fr.l 
cannonading began from the three ships, which lasted till 


'twas tuo hot iur tiie rebels to stand on their wharves. Our 'j'2 

boats now huuletl and set fire to the town in several places. 
It burned fiercely all nisjht and the next day; nor are the 
l]anies yet extinqin'shed : but no more of Norfolk remains 
than about twelve houses, \\-hich escaped the fiames." 

A month laier Colonel Howe, with the concurrence of his 
officers, visited the \'irginia convention, then sitting at 
Williamsburg", an^l on his recommendation that body directed 
that the remaining houses, only twelve in number, should be 
destroyetl. In Colonel Howe's encounters with the British, 
although his forces were un^Ier a long-protracted, heavy 
cannonade, lie lost only five or six men wounded and 'none 
killed. It was his good fortune to bear himself so well that 
notwithstanding local jealousies, he won high ai)plause and 
received the thanks of th.e \'irginia convention, wdiile gain- 
ing merited distinction for himself and his North Carolina 

Colonel Howe had with him some six hundred North 
Carolinians on this dut}' in \'irginia, and the aid given so 
expeditiously and effectively at the same time against the 
Scovellites at the south and Dunmore at the north estab- 
lished for North Carolina an enviable reputation throughout 

Measures for defence 

Chi Decemlicr 18th the Provincial Council met at the ^^^"^' 
court-house of Johnston County in its second session. 

It was now known that the province was to be invaded; 
and as the inhabitants were not well supi)lied with arms and 
ammimition for defence, commissioners were appointed to 
make and repair guns and to purchase munitions of war ; 
and the delegates in the Continental Congress were directed 
to send powder, drums, colors and fifes from Philadelphia c. r., x. 
for the use of the troops. 

W'aightstill Avery, one of the members, was directed to 
repair to South Carolina anrl o!)tain twenty hundredweight 
of gunpowder, a supply of which had been received from 
abroad by that province. P"*owder and ammunition belong- 
ing to the I'.riti^h Go\erimient had also been seized in South 
Carolina, Georgia, ati'i ajipareruly Florida. 




C R., X, 



Progress of 


Because of the necessity to continue importations an^l 
protect vessels eng'agcd in sucli commerce, the council took 
steps to fit out three armed ships, one at Wihiiing'ton, one 
at Xew Bern, and one at Edenton, and gentlemen at each 
of those towns were appointerl to charter one or more vessels, 
which they were to load with commodities and send abroad 
to procure arms and ammunition for rlie province. And 
renewed efforts were made to obtain at home an additional 
supply of arms and equipments. It was ordered that two 
battalions of minute men should be embodied in the district 
of Salisbury, one of them to be under Griffith Rutherford, 
as colonel, and the other to be commanded by Colonel 
Thomas Polk. It was also directed that the test adopted by 
the Provincial Congress should be signed by all the minute 
men and militiamen, anil it was recommended that no person 
should be allowed any relief against a debtor unless ten days 
previous to his application he should have subscribed the 
continental association and the test. 

Early in September the address of the Continental Congress 
urging the king to point out some way for an accommoda- 
tion was presented to the ministry by Governor Penn. 
Three days later Dartmouth replied that to it no answer 
would be given ; while in a speecli from the throne it was 
declared that the protestations of loyalty were meant only 
to deceive, the rebellious war being carried on for the pur- 
pose of establishing an independent empire. When informa- 
tion came of this closing of the door to all hope of accom- 
mod.ation tlie colonists were profoundly moved. So far there 
had been no purpose to separate. All that fall the chaplains 
in Washirgton's army v.'ere still leading their troops in 
prayer "for the king." In December, James Hogg, who was 
attending tiie Continental Congress seeking recognition for 
Transylvania, wrote that "the famous John and Sam Adams" 
presented this difficulty : "There seems to be an impro- 
priety in embarrassing our reconciliation with anything new ; 
and the taking under our protection a body of people who 
have acted in defiance of the king's proclamations will be 
looked on as a confirmation of that independent spirit with 
which we are daily reproached." As yet, even those aggres- 
sive delegates from Massachusetts were unwilling to give 

Hope of rec- 

C R., X, 



color to the charge that they favored independence.* To 'j"J 

make a reasonable explanation of the resort to arms while The r-ry 
proressmg allegiance, the Whig leaders denounced the biamca 
efforts to deprive the colonists of their constitutional rights 
as emanating from a protiigate ministry, and stigmatized 
those who opposed the American cause as ""tools of the 
ministers," and the British troops were known as "'minis- 
terial troops.'' It was sought to emphasize a distinction be- 
tween the king and his ministry: but. indeed, the king was 
more determined than Lord North, an anria!)le man, who still 
hoped for some accommodation. George III was of an 
arbitrary disposition. Being intent to free himself from 
the great \^'hig leaders, who had governed ever since the 
house of Hanover cam.e to the throne, he had placed at the 
head of affairs Lord Xorth. who was a Torv, and the admin- 
istration at this period was conducted by Tories. The Par- 
liament was subservient, but the people were greatly divided. 
There were those who opposed the administration for politi- 
cal reasons and others who favored Am.erica for industrial 
and conmiercial purposes. Men like Horace Walpole con- ^n''p,)'J,'^if^' 
sidered that the constitution was in danger from the despot- 
ism of the king, and that the preservation of British liberty 
was involved in the struggle of the Americans for their rights 
as British subjects: the merchants and m.anufacturers real- 
ized that the prosperity of Great Britain required a cessation 
of the disturbance. About November i, 1775, Walpole 
wrote: "The ministers have only provoked and united, not waipoie's 
intimidated, wounded or divided, America. At this instant jot'I^^' 
they are not sure that the king has a foot of dominion left 
on that continent." "It is certain that the campaign has 
answered none of the expectations of the administration. It 
seems to be the opinion now that they will think of pacific 
measures. They have even talked in Parliament of treating. 
The Parliament grants whatever is asked ; and yet a great 
alteration has happened in the administration. The Duke 

♦After the event John Adams claimed that he favored indepen- 
dence as early as the summer of 1775. The question in such cases 
is, when did he rcrilly liciiiii l)y acts and measures^ to promote the 
cause? When did he seek to duscminatc views favorable to the 
success of the c;ui>e? The abov^ letter indicates that neither of 
the Adamses was promoting mdcpendence early in December, 1775. 


^75 of Grafton has changed sides, and was turned out last 

Friday. Lord Dartmouth has quitted the American prov- 
ince and taken the privy seal. Lord Georg;e Germaine is 
made secretary of state for America, and Lord Weymouth 
has taken the southern province. The town is impatient to 
see whether this chans^e of men imphes any chanoe of meas- 
ures. I do not see why it should, for none of the new 
ministers have ever inclined to the Americans ; and I doubt 
whether the success of the latter will make them have a 
, : better disposition toward the present administration. Tlicy 
have felt their strenc^th, and experienced how much less hurt 
we can do them than we imag^ined. If they have, such ideas 
of independence as have been imputed to them, and as prob- 
ably som.e ambitious men among- them may have, we have 
done nothing to convince them that their plan is impracticable. 
. . . We must exliaust our men. money, navies and trade. 
These are the four trifling articles we pay to the old scheme 
of arbitrary power. When will the kings of England learn 
how great they may be by the constitution: how sure of 
ruin if they try to be despotic? Cannot the fate of the 
Stuarts teach even the house of Hanover to have common 
sense '" 

Tories and Whigs 

On December J4th the council resolved that, "Whereas. 
Governor Martin hath distributed great numbers of Tory 
pamphlets in the western parts of this province, wdiere the 
people are not well informed,'" the delegates in congress be 
desired to secure the best pamphlets to counteract and frus- 
trate the wicked and diabolical tools of a corrupt ministry. 
Anterior to this era there had been no political dilYerences 
among the co!oni-ts. The king and the ministers had since 
1688 been Whigs and the colonists were in full sympathy 
with the administration. But when George III broke with 
the Whigs and formed the first Tory ministry under Lord 
North, and the measure-^ opj^ressive to America were de- 
vised, those who adhered to the mini-try and allied them- 
selves with the Tory party became Tories. 

Tb.e other inhabitants, being in the opposition, naturally 
called themselves Whigs, for the Whigs in England violently 


(i[»i)o>ed the administration. Thus tliese English party names ^75 

were, in 1775. appHcable in America. 

(^nce introduced they became fixed : and even after inde- 
jicndence and sej-jaration became the object of the struggle. 
the revohuionist? still called themselves Whigs. Likewise 
the adherents of the Crown continued to be known as Tories, 
and the name Tory became a term of odium and reproach, 
synonymous with detested enmity to the country: the Tories 
being considered traitors and hated as men aiding to de- 
prive the people oi tlieir rights and liberties. 


The Provixcial Couxcil. 1775-76 — Continued 

Martin prepares lo act. — He sends commis>ion«. — The rising. — The 
Western patriots. — Caswell marches. — At Wilmington.— At Cross 
Creek.— The Tories embody.— Moore at Rocktish.— McDonald 
■,,■.. marches.— Moore's Creek.— The battle.— Death of Grady.— The 
'' Spoils.— Trouble in Currituck.- The effects of the victory.— In Vir- 

ginia. — In North Carolina.— Mary Slocunib's ride.— Reports of 
Caswell and Moore. 

Martin prepares to act 
U^ Early in December Governor Martin sailed for Charles- 

c.R.. X, ton. where he was detained a month, returning to the Cape 
407,653,6^3 ^,^^^ ^^^^^ .^ January. Doubtless his conferences there 

strengthened his purpose to embody the Loyalists in the 
interior. His original design had been to send a British 
battalion to Cumberland as a. nucleus around which the 
Highlanders and Regulators should centre ; but no British 
force had reached him, although he had been advised that a 
large expedition was now on the way to the Cape Fear. 
On his return from South Carolina some of the Loyalists 
of Brunswick County solicited him not to delay longer, rep- 
397,487-489 resenting "that the rebel troops were weak; that one-third 
of them had not been provided with arms; that the}' were 
equally deficient of amnnunition, and that the people were 
sore under their new-fangled government and had a dispo- 
sition to revolt ; and that they would engage in a month's 
Plans to time to raise two or three thousand men." ^Major :McLean 
Loyl^iiL'*"' had gone into the interior with instructions to ascertain the 
number of men that might be relied on; and now the 
anxious governor confided a commission to a confidential 
messenger, recommended by the Brimswick Loyalists, to 
establish the concert he proposed and to carry necessary 
instructions to tlie people of the more distant counties. At 
length Major McLean brought gratifying assurances that 
two or three thousand men. one-half of them well armed, 
would quickly respond to his call. This organization extended 


from Surry County to Brunswick, and the plan promised IJ^ 

j;ood hope of success. Again ]\IcLean was despatched with 
powers to proper persons to raise and embody men and 
with orders to press down to Brunswick by February 15th; 
and soon came a verbal message "that the Loyahsts were in 
liigh spirits and very fast collecting: that they assured them- 
selves of being six thousand strong, well furnisheil with 
wagons and horses : that they intentied to post one thousand 
at Cross Creek, and with the rest would take possession of 
Wilmington by February 25th at farthest." By these emis- T^eT. ry 
saries commissions were conveyed to the J^IcDonalds and 
other Scotch leaders in Cumberland and Anson ; to John c. r., x, 
Pyle, of the county of Chatham ; to William Fields, James *■*' 
Hunter, Saymore York, and others, of Guilford ; Samuel 
Br} an and otliers> of Rowan; Gideon Wright and James 
Gl_\n, of Surry; Paul Barringer,* of Mecklenburg; IMichael 
Holt, of Orange; and Philemon Hawkins, of Bute."*" These 
and their associates were to erect the king's standard and 
array his Majesty's faithful subjects in their respective 
counties, forming them into companies of fiftx nien each, 
antl with authority to commission the company officers. The 
preliminary arrangements having been secretly made, the 
Loyalists soon v,ere all astir. 

Now the mission of Donald McDonald and Alexander 
McLcod. who had reached Xew Bern the previous June, 
became known. The first had an appointment as brigadier- 
general and the latter as colonel in the British army, and 
they had been sent by General Gage to organize not merely 
an insurrectionary force, but a division of Loyalists in the . 
interior of Xorth Carolina for service in any part of 
America. At this crisis General McDonald took the chief 
command, by virtue of his commission. Allan McDonald, 
the husband of Flora, was appointed by Governor Martin 
to a subordinate position, but the highest in his gift. He 
was a man of great influence and high station among his 
countrymen. As Boswell saw him on his native heath, just 
prior to his departure for America, he was the bt\m ideal 
of a Highland chieftain — oi graceful mien an<l manly looks ; 

*Barringer and Hawkins did not accept these commi.ssions, but 
were Whies. Holt and Hr.ntcr later took the oath. 


'-76 •'he had his tartan plaid thrown ab(jut him. a larg^e LI;. 

Graham's bonnct. wJth a knot of bhie ribbons, . . . and brown coa^. 

Fnvisk)n • • • ^^^^ tartan waistcoat with gold buttons. ... a blui^l 

"5 ' tilibeg. and tartan hose: . . . jet black hair tied behini: 

' ;• '• ... a large, stately man, with a steady, sensible counts 

nance.'* then near fifty years of age: a man. indeed. w!,.> 
might well have swayed his countrymen to any enteriiric 

Fi-.ra His wife, who beyond her romantic career had also a pri--- 

ence both notable and attractive, vied with her husband in 
manifestations of enthusiasm and devoted loyalty. She ac- 
companied McDonald on hor-eback m arousing the Scotch 
to action, visiting the camp and exerting all of her persuasivc 
■ ' powers in rallying the people to the standard. 

Ibid.. 1.1 The entire territory between the Cape Fear and Haw on 

the east and the waters of the Yadkin on the west, inhab- 
ited largely by the Highlanders and Regulators, was per- 
meated by loyal influences, and a close association existO'i 
between the chieftains of the Scotchinen and the leaders of 
those whom Governor Martin distinguished as '"the country 
people." Both responded with alacrity to the call of the 
governor, and there w^as general co-operation throughout 

c. R.. X, that entire region. The Tories of Bladen and Surry antl 

The'ri'ing Guilford as well as the Highlanders of Cumberland and 
Anson prepared for the march and were organized int() 
companies by their local officers. 

c. R., X, x^^ length, on February 5th, there having been a confer- 

ence of the leaders. Donald McDonald issued his manifesto 
' ■ as the commanding general, inviting all to repair to his 

■ ■' . • Majesty's royal standard to be erected at Cross Creek. 
! The movement then began. Secret at its inception, it now 

was open, and was at once discovered by vigilant Whigs. 
Messengers were immediately despatched to give warning to 

^^J^'^" the patriot leaders. It was quickly known in Salisbury, 
where the district Committee of Safety met on February 6th 
and issued orders to the county committees to embody and 
' send forward their minute men and militia. 

The western patriots act 

The committee of Rowan, meeting on the same day, urged 
the disaffected in the forks of the Yadkin to peace, now 


.it th!> time, "when the friends of Atr.erican liberty in these L'Zf 

southern colonies are detennineil, liy the a'^^istance of c. r., x. 
Alniii^hty God. at the hazard of their lives and fortunes, to *^* 
tiiiellan insurrection of the blackest nature, fomented and 
-unported by the arts of wicked and abandoned men in the 
very bosom of this country"': ami the committee "appointed 
Monday, February 14th. as a day of public fastino^. hum.ilia- February 
tion and prayer in this country, and recommended that it be 
religiously observed/' 

Three davs liter the Tryon committee hastily convened, c. r., x 
and, pursuant to the directions of the district committee, 
resolved that each captain should detail one-third of the 
eti'ective m.en in his district and march to suppress the insur- 
rection. In every part of the province the same zeal was 
manifested. There v.-as no hesitation. The action of the 
Whigs was quick and determined. At tlie west they collected 
at Charlotte. Salisbury, and Hillsboro. 

Thomas Person vvTOte from Hillsboro on February 12th. C- R., x, 
saving: "Tb.ings move very well in this place. The advo- 
cates for iil^erty seem very numerous, and by we hear, 
their enemies are likely to prove but few in number. In 
'^hort. we hear that they are mostly dispersed up ahead. . . . 
Tis said that the Scotch in Cumberland are making head. 
. . . The forces will move from here, 'tis thought, to-morrow 
for Chatham County, toward Cross Creek." 

The Lovalists in Surry appear to have been speedily dis- 
persed bv the active Whigs of that county. In Guilford. 
Colonel James Martin assembled the Whigs at the "'Cross 
Roads," but the Tories resolutely pressed on. A company uent'^kmed 
of which Samuel Devinny. one of the former Regulators, was 
the head, being opposed by Captain Dent, killed him. James 
Low^e and Rolxrt Adams were particularly charged with 
firing th.e fatal shots. It tlms appears that Captain Dent c. r., x, 
was the first North CaroHnian to fall in the contest. -''^'^'*^ 

An express carrving intelligence that the Loyalists were TheWhigs 
embodying, and had on the 5th begun to march to Cross 
Creek, was receive- 1 by the district Committee of Safety of 
New Bern on the loth. The com.mittee im.mcdiately directed C- R- ^■ 
Colonel Casv.ell to march with his minute m.en to suppress 
th.e insurrection, and the colonels of Dobbs. Johnston. Pitt. 

C. R., X 

46 s tt Sdq 


^2Jt ^nd Craven were ordered to raise the militia of thoM' 

Krbrunry couiitics and join Caswell. Similarly, the patriot forces in 
Mecklenburg" and Rowan, in Granville and Bute, in the 
Hillsboro district and on the Cape Fear, were put in ra|ii<l 
•. '. ;• motion. The militia and minute men of Surry, Guilford, 
Orang'e, and Chatham, under Colonel Thackston, also hm-- 
ried to the scene of operations. 

On the 9th the express conveying the intelligence of the 
■^.)., . insurrection reached Wilmington. There the greatest ac- 

tivity prevailed. All vied in enthusiastic ardor. Colonel 
Moore issued orders to prepare for marching against thv 
insurgents. The artillery was to be equipped,, the companies 
:;' I ■ ■ armed, wagons supplied for transporting the provisions. For 
■ • eighty hours there was severe, unremitting service, night and 
day, making preparations. At length, being ready, Colonel 
Moore, with his regulars and artillery, moved toward Cross 
' Creek, being joined on his route by the Bladen militia. Four 
• ■ days later he was followed by the two companies of minute 
■■' men of Xew Hanover under Colonel Lillington and Colonel 
' • Ashe's independent rangers, while Colonel Purviance rc- 
'• ^ mained with his militia for the defence of the town. On the 
' : 14th the Cruizcr sloop-of-war with a tender passed Brims- 

wick, and, fearing an attack, m.any inhabitants of Wilming- 
• ton moved out. carrying the women and children, and breast- 

works were thrown up on the principal streets and wharves 
'• ' • and on the hills above and below the town. Quickly there 

came Captain Clinton's company of minute men from 
' ' ■ Duplin, a minute company from Onslow, and a part of tlie 
militia from Onslow under Colonel Cray, and fifty men from 
Brunswick under Major Quince. These all assisted in com- 
'■"'■•' '•••- pleting the breastworks, mounting the swivels and pre- 
* paring fire rafts. The Cruizcr, however, made no attack on 

' the town, but tried to pass up the Clarendon River into the 

Northwest, with the intention of meeting the Loyalists on 
their way down and protecting their provision boats from 
Cross Creek. 

The attempt, however, was abortive. Riflemen on shore 
attacked the men from the Cruizcr whenever they landed, 
and the water not being sufficient for the vessel to pass, she 
again fell below the island. 


At Cross Creek 'J/f 

Croi^s Creek had for months been i^Tcatly clistnrbeiL 
riierc a few sterhnc^ Whiles hved in the very midst of the 
Tory element. In the early stages of the movement Rob- 
ert Rowan had fornied an independent company, and patri- 
cnically sought to determine the action of the community. 
iUit there the Tory leaders held their meetings and resolved 
upon their course. The first rendezvous was appointed at Cross hhi 
Cross Hill, near Carthage, in Moore County, on Feb- 
ruary 5th: and thence the companies moved to Campbelh.on. 
Colonel Thomas Rutherford, who at the previous congress 
had been chosen colonel of the county, proved unfaithful, 
and gave in his adherence to the royal cause. He called for 
a general muster on the 12th. ^lany, however, would not 
obey. To arouse them, on the next day he issued a flaming c. r.,x, 
manifesto, entreating, beseeching, and commanding the Ti^e^.'^^f 
people to join the king's army. On the i6th the converging '^'^"jj,^'''^ 
columns began to arrive, and Peter Hay bore the rcwal 
standard from Canipl'ellton to Cross Creek, where it was 
formally erected. Now regiments came in from Anson, 
Chatham. Guilford, and Bladen, and companies from Orange 
and Rowan and other communities. The entire number of 
Loyalists then assembling at Cross Creek was variously esti- 
mated at between thirty-five hundred and five thousand men. 
Colonel Cotton, of Anson, and other leaders asserted that 
there would be five thousand of the Regulators in addition to 
tiie Highlanders. But it had been given out that Governor 
Martin was at Campbellton with a thousand British regulars 
to receive them, and this report had given an impetus to the 
movement. On approaching their encampment the state- i^c 
ment was found to be without founriation, and large num- Jl^f^^d';"];;" 
bers abandoned the cause. Deceived in one matter, the Reg- 
ulators lost confidence in all other representations made by 
their leaders, and htmdreds retired. 

General rvIcDonald. who had fought at Culloden and at 
Bunker Hill. was. hov,-ever, resolute, and, notwithstanding 
this defection, marshalled his forces, preparing to take up 
his route to the seacoast. There were two main roads, one 
on the .south of t!ie river to P.nmswick and the other crossing 
Corbett's Ferrv on the Black and leaijing to Wilmington. 


THE PRO ['IXC I AL COUXCfL, t—^^-;6 

Mocrc at 




}^lcDonal(l moved forward some four miles on the fornu-r 
and rested, awaitiiiii^ developments. On reaching]: the vicin- 
ity. Colonel ]\Ioore. understanding- that the Loyalists wouM 
proceed by the former, took post at Rockfish Creek, four 
miles below McDonald's camp, and held that pass. Then; 
he was quickly joined by Rowan and sixty Whic^s from 
Cross Creek, and later was reinforced by LillinG:ton and 
Ashe anrl by Colonel Kenan v^ith the Duplin militia, increas- 
ing- his numbers to fifteen hundred. In the meanwhile 
Colonel Thackston and Colonel ^.tartin were rapidly ap- 
proaching from the west with still larger reinforcements. 
On P'ebruary 19th General McDonald addressed a communi- 
cation to Moore enclosing the governor's proclamation, 
offering free pardon and indemnity for all past transgres- 
sions if the colonel and his officers would lay down their 
arms and take the oath of allegiance, "otherwise he should 
consider them as traitors and take necessary steps to con- 
quer and subdue them." IMoore replied that he would give 
a more particular answer the next day, when he would per- 
haps have an opportunity of consulting with Colonel Mar- 
tin,* then in the neighborhood. It appears that he sought to 
prolong the correspondence tliat Martin and Thackston 
might arrive. On the night of the 20th, the defection of 
the Lovalists continuing — indeed, two companies of Cotton's 
regiment deserte<l in a body and iMcDonald having infor- 
mation of Caswell's near approach from the east, the astute 
British general resolved to wait no longer, and umler cover 
of darkness he crossed the river and took the upper road for 
Wilmington. At best he would have only Caswell to con- 
tend with, and he thought to easily overcome that detach- 
ment. Aloore. on learning of the movement, directed 
Thackston and IMartin to take possession of Cross Creek. 
and, ordered Caswell to return and hold Corbett's Ferry over 
the Black, v,hile Lillington and Ashe w-ere hurried by a 
forced march to reinforce Caswell if possible, but if not, to 
take possession of ^loore's Creek Bridge on the same road, 
but nearer to Wilmington. In the meantime, as it was ap- 
prehended that McDonald miglit attempt to pass through 

"Lieutenant-Colonel Alex.-nilor Manin, of the Rej?ulars. Lieu- 
tcnanl-Coioncl James Martm. ot the m.iitia, was wilh Thackston. 


1^, pursmn- a ror.te still to the ca^t^vard tlie !ZZf 

bnd<-es iti that countv were partly demolished. Colonel Cray 
[•ohUn.- b.-ick Sailer's coir.panv for that duty, and the inh.ab- 
itantsVnno- rea-iv to destroy th.e others it necessary to 
obstruct the march o£ the Tories. At Wilmmo-ton, Colone 
I'urviance was all activitv, and to arrest their boats, should 
tliev descend tlie river, he threw a boom across the streani 
-It 'Mount Miserv. four miles above the town, ana stationed 
'one hundred and twentv men there, while with another de- 
tachment he held the pass of Heron's Bridge, ten miles out 
on the northeast branch. Havin- despatched his orders to 
intercept the progress of the Torv column, Moore hastened 
to Elizabethtown. hopm- to strike McD..nald on his route 
to Corbetfs Ferrv or to fall in his rear and surround him. 
McDonald was a verv competent commander, resourcetul 
and determined. Failing to overtake Caswell, he departed 
from the reizular road, raised a tlat that had been sunk m 
Black River ^.me hve miles above Corbetfs Ferry, quiCKly 
erected a bridge and passed that stream. Because ot this 
movement. ^loore ordered Caswell to retire to Moore s 
Creek, and himself hurried toward that point. 

The battle of Moore's Creek Bridge 

LiUin-ton. unable to make a junction with Caswell tell 
down the river in boats, and took po.t at Moore s Creek 
Erirlcre and threw up some entrenchments near by ; but later 
he abamloned that position, moved farther back, and erected 
other entrenchments, which he strengthened with a tew 
pieces of light artillery. Toward the evening ot Feb- CasweUs 
ruarv 26th Caswell also arrived at the bridge, and alter 
he had crossed it the planks were removed. He placed Ins 
troops in a position farther otf than that occupied by Lillmg- 
ton, who remained on the ground where he had entrenched 
The Highlanders and some two hundred Regulators reached 
the ^airie vicinitv that night. General McDonald lay lU at a 
farmer's house, and m camp a council was held to determine 
whether an assault should be mad.e or a defnir attempted. 
McLeod. a trained soldier, who had left his bruie (a 
daughter of Flora McDonald) at the altar in ha^te to do duty i^-^M^a..^ 
for\is king, doubted; McLean, adventurous, spirited, a 


177^' veritable "spitfire," emphatically demanded courac^eon-; 

action. "Well,'' exclaimed McLeod. as he closed the council, 

Feb. 27, 1776 "at i!a\vn to-morrow we will prove who is the coward." In 
the earlv morning- their advance crossed the stream, and 
observing the first entrenchments unoccupied, supposed tlir 
road was open. Their commander, McLeod, loudly callini; 
on them to follow, dashed forward; but the artillery and 
riflemen at once opened a murtlerous fire, and the unexpected 
and destructive volley drove back the head of the column, 
thirtv falling on the ground and a number of others into 
the stream. The gallant McLeod himself was pierced bs 
twenty balls. McLean survived, in after life sedate, sad- 
dened by the unhappy fate of the bridegroom of an hour. 

The victor)- A dctachmeut was now thrown by Caswell, tlie commanding 
officer, across the creek, and it resolutely attacked the dis- 
ordered Tories, who. having lost their leaders, soon gave 
wav and fled. In a few moments the battle was over. A 
• . great victor}- was won. The insurrection was suppressed 

by one sharp blow and the peril that threatened the province 
was averted. Happily, the patriot force escaped with but 
little loss. Two men were wounded, one of them, however, 
to the death — John Grady, of Duplin, the first Xorth Caro- 
linian recorded in history to yield his life on a contested 
battlefield in the war for independence. 
The spoils Routed, the Highlanders quickly dispersed, leaving their 

general, then quite ill. in the hands of his enemies. Eight 
hundred and fifty of the insurgents were captured, among 
them many of their officers. Besides there fell into the 
possession of the Whigs three hundred and fifty guns and 
shot bags, one hundred and fifty swords and dirks, fifteen 
hundred excellent rifles, two medicine chests, fresh from 
C.R.. X. England, one oi them valued at £300 sterling; a box of 
485, 55<?. ;6o, ^^^ij^^^g^ found secreted in a stable at Cross Creek, reported 
to be worth £15.000 sterling, and thirteen wagons with their 
horses — a fortunate addition to the slender supplies of the 
provincial arm.y. For some days detachments of the Whig 
troops were occupied in scouring the country, arresting the 
Lovalists and disarming them. Among those taken were 
Colonel John Pyle. four of the Fields family. James Hunter, 
Savmore York. Rev. George Micklejohn, Colonel Ruther- 



fonl. of Cumbcrlaiul. and many of the leaders of the Reo^u- 
lators. as well as the McDonalds and other chiefs of the 

The council in session 

President Harnett, in view of the insurrection, had con- c.R..x,469 
vcned the Provincial Council at New Bern on Fehruary 27th, 
and the body was in session when inforniati(Mi was received 
of the death blow g^iven to the movement of the Loyalists. 
Colonel Caswell, being senior in rank to Colonel Lillington, 
despatched information of his victory, and Colonel Moore 
made a detailed report to President tiarnett of the entire 
campaign. At once the council adopted resolutions return- ]lZ':"'"^ 
ing thanks "to Colonel James Moore and all the brave thanked 
otScers and soldiers of every denomination for tlieir late 
very important services rendered their country in effectually 
suppressing the late daring and dangerous insurrection of 
the Highlanders and Regulators." Equally good accounts 
being received of Howe's fine conduct in \'irginia, the coun- 
cil, with just pride in the glorious achievements of North 
Carolinians, rendered thanks "in the fullest and most hon- 
orable terms to Colonel liowe and all the brave officers and 
soldiers under his command for their spirited conduct, hav- 
ing acquitted themselves greatly to the honor and good of 
their countrv." But in that hour of rejoicing there was 
also need for action. The scattered insurgents were to be 
apprehended, anel all suspected of Toryism were required 
to take an oath that they would not under an}' i^rctence what- 
ever oppose the measures of the continental or provincial 

Almost simultaneously with the rising on the Cape Fear, 
disaffection manifested itself in Currituck, doubtless stimu- ^ ^ ^ 
lated bv the efforts of Governor Dunmore in Virginia. The 

4-2, 57' 
ini: in 

militia' of Bertie, :vlartin and some other counties were ^^^_^^_ 
marched to suppress it; and the council on :\Iarch 2d re- 
turned the warmest thanks to Colonel William Williams 
and the other gentlemen, officers, and soldiers from the 
counties of Martin and Bertie for their readiness and spirited 
conduct in marching against the enemies of their country; 
and the congress later made a considerable appropriation to 


-^ pay t'^^' militia of Bute, led by Colonel Hawkins a.i^ainst the 

insnr^ETcnts during the "late Currituck expedition." 

It being- known that a British army was on its way to 
the South, the Continental Congress had recommended the 
Provincial Council to confer with the autliorities of \'ir- 
ginia and of South Carolina to devise means of defence ; 
and Sam Johnston. Jones, and Thomas Fv rson were 
directed to go to X'irginia, and Abner Nash and John 
Kinchen to Charleston, to consult on measures f. 'f the secur- 
ity of these colonies. As additional troops wculd certainly 
be needed. Colonel Pcdk and ]\Iajor Phifer were directed to 
recruit seven hundred and fifty men to form a new con- 
tinental regiment : and congress was called to meet at Hali- 
fax on April 2(\. 

The effects of the victory 

Governor Martin was greatly disconcerted by this ending 
of the movement from which he had hoped so much : but he 
was not discouraged, and attributed the falling off of the 
'■■ ' country people from the enterprise to their disappointment 
in finding that a deception had been practised on them by 
the representation that he himself with one thousand regu- 
' lars was at Cross Creek. Pie still expected that if such a 

force were to penetrate into the interior thousands of Loyal- 
ists would flock to his standard, and he represented to the 
^■- ministry "that the little check the Loyalists have received 

will not have any extensive ill consequences. All is recover- 
able by a borly of troops penetrating into the country." 

And so, in(!ee<l, it was. The Loyalists, though disheart- 
ened, generally remaineil faithful to the Crown. Disarmed 
and deprived of their leaders, many of whom had been cap- 
tured and confined, they had no heart to undertake any new 
movement, but thousands of them continued during the long 
years of the struggle unfriendly to the American cause and 
devoted adherents of Great Britain. 
h'm.^Ri^e ^" ^^e \Miigs the victory had a potent effect. It animated 

Re'^Iibiic them with hope, established confidence in their prowess, and 
503 added fuel to the fires of patriotism. Their spirit ran high. 

"You never knew the like in your life for true patriotism," 
VvTotc a Xortii Carolinian to his correspondent in Philadel- 


phin, and the newspapers teemed with the details of the ^SJ2 

brilliant victory. Another Carolinian, writing; to the 
Rtnu'iiibrancer. said : 

It is inconceivable to imacjine what joy this event has diffused 
through this province: the importance of which is heightened by 

Clinton and L.ord William Campbell's being now in Cape Fear n.L spirit of 

Hon- amazingly mortified must they prove in finding that ... in tiieWhigs 
less than fifteen day.s [we] could turn out more than ten thousand 
independent gentlemen volunteers. . . . Smce I was born I never %^':i^^' 
heard of .-^o universal an ardor for fighting prevailing, and so per- 
fect a union among all degrees of men. ... I thin!: the province 
will and ought to call for hostages from the Regulators and High- 
landers to be safely kept in some other province, beyond the possi- 
bility of a rescue, during the present commotions. 


Ten months had passed since the clash of arms at Lexint^- 
ton had roused the passion of the patriots, and now Moore's 
Creek broui^ht j^iy throus^hout the colonies. 

The ease with which a well-devised and widely extended 
insurrection had been quelled excited an ardor that stirred 
the Revolutionists from the seaboard to the mountains. The 
iron had entered into their souls in the time of peril, and 
now in the exultation and rejoicing;- tlicre was mincfled a in purpose'' 
hif;;her resolve, and suddenly the nature of the cmtest 
changed. Theretofore reconciliation had been desired ; now, 
as if by macric. the watchword Ijccame independence, and 
the thoupdits and aspirations of the people were centred on 
entire anrl final separation. \o lon2:er as British subjects, 
but as American freemen, they dared the hazard of the 

Similar experiences, perhaps, worked a like restilt in \'ir- Frothing- 
ginia. In April a great change was noted in that province. Rise' of the 
Whereas in March the \'irginians were not favorable to jo^"'"^' 
independence, in \nril thcv wore almost uuanimotis for it. 
A letter writien from fl.alifax abotit the middle of April, 
wliich may be attributed to Ho<oper, who had just arriveci 
fi'om Philadelphia, says : 

I arrived here after a tedious jo\irney. .A,s I came through Vir- 
;;inia. I found the inhabitants desirous to be independent from 
Britain. However, they were willing to submit their opinion on the 


i::'^ c-nbjt-ct to whatever the general congress should determine. North 

Carolina by far cxrft-ds them, occasioned by the great fatigue, 
trouble and danger the people here have undergone for some time 
past. Gentlemen of the first fortune in the province have marched 

Ml*" Vl"' ^^ common soldiers, and. to encourage and give spirit to the men, 

i57,i58u353) have footed it the whole time. Lord Cornwaliis with seven regiments 
is expected to visit us every day. Clinton is now in Cape Fear wiih 
Governor Martin, who has about forty sail of vessels, armed and un- 
armed, waiting his arrival. The Highlanders and Regulators are 
not to be trusted. Governor Martin has coaxed a number of slaves 
to leave their ma.-ters in the lower parts ; everything base and 
wicked is practised by him. These things have wholly changed 
the temper and disposition of the inhabitants, that- are friends to 

., ,. , liberty. All regard or fondness for the king or nation of Britain is 

gone ; a total separation is what they want. Independence is the 

, word most used. They ask if it is possible that any colony, after 

what has passed, can wish for a reconciliation. The Convention 
have tried to get the opinion of the people at large. I am told that 
in many counties there is not one dissenting voice.* 

Mary Slocumb's ride 

Mr^. F.iiet's 'i'licrc Is rccordcd a picturesque narrative that illustrates 

Am. Rev., tile turor which pervaded the entire Whisf section when the 
' ^ ' fathers, husbands, and brothers of the families hurried out 

i to meet the Tories in February, 1776. War had never be- 

fore visited that section, but now was at their very doors. 
Its unknown terrors intlamed the imagination and disturbed 

\ every household. Anxiety pervaded every heart. The men 

courageously marched to the front, the women suffered 
dreadful solicitude. ]vlrs. Alary Slocumb. the wife of 
Captain Ezekiel Slocumb, gave this account of the experi- 

i ence that befell her. Their residence was on Xeuse River. 

• in what is now Wayne County : '"The men all left on Sunday 

morning. ^Nlore than eighty went from this house with my 
husband. . . . They got ott in high spirits, every man step- 
ping high and light. And I slept soundly and (luietly that 
night, and worked hartl all the next day ; but I kept thinking 
wdiere they had got to — liow far, where, and how many 
Regulators and Tories they would meet ; and I could not 
keep myself from the study. I went to bed at the usual 

*The name of the writer of this letter i- not stated, but from 
internal evidence the author attributes it, without doubt, to Hooper. 


time V? I lay — whether waking or sleeping I know m^ 

not — I had a dream, yet it was not all a dream. I saw dis- 
tinctly a body wrapped in my Inisband's guard cloak, bloody, 
(lead, and others dead and wounded on the ground. ... I 
<aw them plainly and distinctly. I uttered a cry and sprang 
to my feet on the tioor ; and so strong was the impression on 
my mind that I rushed in the direction the vision appeared. 
. . . The tire in the rooin gave little light, and I gazed in 
every direction to catch another glimpse of the scene. . . . 
If ever I felt fear it was at that moment. Seated on the bed, 
I reflected . . . and said aloud. T must go to him.' ... I 
v/ent to the stable, saddled my mare — as fleet and easy a nag 
as ever travelled — and in one minute we were tearing down 
the road at full speed. ... I knew the general route our 
little army expected to take, and had followed them without 
hesitation." All night long she rode through the piney for- 
ests of Duplin and New Hanover counties. Then continuing, 
she said : "About sunrise I came upon a group of women 
and children standing and sitting by the roadside, each one 
of them showing the sarne anxiety of mind I felt. . . . 
Again was I skimming over the ground through a country 
thinly settled, and very poor and swampy, . . . when I 
heard a sound like thunder, which I knew must be cannon. 
It was the first time I ever heard a cannon. I stopped still, 
when presently the caiinr.n thundered again. The battle 
was then fighting. ... I could hear muskets ; I could hear 
riHes ; I could hear shouting. I spoke to my mare, and 
dashed on in the direction of the firing and the shouts, now 
louder than ever. ... A few yards from the road, under a 
cluster of trees, were lying perhaps twenty men. They were 
the wounded. I knew the spot, the very trees, and the posi- 
tion of the m.en I knew as if I had seen it a thousand times. 
I had seen it all night. I saw all at once ; but in an instant 
my whole soul v.-as centred in one spot, for there, wrapped 
in his bloody guard cloak, was my husband's body! How 
I passed the few yards from my saddle to the place I never 
knew. I remember uncovering his head and seeing a face 
clotted with gore from a dreadful wound across the temple. 
I put mv hand on the bloody face; 'twas warm, and an un- 
known voice liegged for water ... it was Frank Cogdell. 

510 THE PROriXCl.lL COTXCIL. 177=^-76 


. . . JiK-t then I looked up. and my husband, as bloody as a 
butcher and. as muddy as a rlitcher. stood before me."' it 
is said that Slocumb's company was of the detachment that 
forded the creek and, penetrating the swamp, made the 
furious charge on tlie Tory rear that decided the fate of 
the day. 

Colonel Caswell's report to President Harnett: 
' ■ C.\MP AT Lo.VG Cheek. Ft-b. 29. 1776. 

Sir : I have the piea?ure to acquaint you that we had an engagement 
with the Tories, at Widow }^Ioore's Creek Bridge.* on the 27th cur 
rcnt. Our army was about one th.ousand strong, consisting of the 
Xcw Bern battalion of minute men, the militia from Craven. John- 
ston. Dobbs and Wake, and a detachment of the Wilmington battalion 
of minute men. which we found encamped at Moore's Creek the 
night before the battle, under the command of Colonel Lillington. 
The Tories, by common report, were 3000: but General McDonald. 
' whom v,e have a prisoner, says there were about fifteen or sixteen 

Caswell, hundred. He was unwell that day. and not in the battle. . . . 
The Tories v/ere totally put to the route, and will certainly di.-per>e. 
Colonel Moore arrived at our camp a few hours after the engagement 
was over. His troops came up that evening, and are now encamped 
on the ground v. here the battle was fought. And Colonel Martin 
is at or near Cro~s Creek, with a large body of men. Those, I pre- 
sume, will be sufficient effectually to put a stop to any attempt to 
embody again. I therefore, with Colonel Moore's consent, am re- 
turning to New Bern with the troops under my command, where I 
hope to receive your orders to dismiss them. There I intend carrv- 
ing the general. t If the council should rise before my arrival, be 
pleased to give order in what manner he shall be disposed of. Our 
officers and men behaved with the spirit and intrepidity becoming 

freemen, contending for their dearest privileges. 

RicH.\Ru Caswell. 

Report of Colonel Moore to President Harnett: 

WiLMiNGTox. March 2, 1776. 
Sir: On the earliest intelligence that the Tories were collecting and 
embodying at Cross Creek, which I received on February gth, I pro- 

=^" Widow Moore's," on Black Riser, was a well-known plantation 
as early as 1737. The line dividing the Welsh Tract from Rocky 
Point began on Black River at ""Widow ]\foore's." From there the 
Welsh Tract district extended to tiie bounds of the precinct or 
county. It was so called, apparently, because laid off by the Evanse- 
for a settlement in Welshmen. (Records of Xeu- Hanover, A.D. 

"General McDonald. 


coedcd to take po5.-ession of Rockfisli Bridge, within seven miles ot ^^ 

Crois Creek, which I con>idered as an important post. This I effected Moores 

, . , - ■ - n J campaign 

OH the 15th witn my own regiment, nve pieces 01 artillery, and a 
part of the Bladen nulitia; but as our numbers were by no means 
equal to that of the Tories. I thought it most advisable to entrench 
and fortify that pass, and wait for a re-enforcement. By the igth 
I was joined by Colonel Lillington with 150 of the Wilmington 
minute men. Colonel Kenan with 200 of the Duplin militia, and 
Colonel Ashe with about one hundred of the volunteer independent 
rangers, making our numbers, then, in the whole about eleven hun- 
dred ; and from the best information I was able to procure the Tory 
army under command of General McDonald amounted to about 
fourteen or fifteen hundred. On the 20th they marched within four 
miles of us, and sent in by a tiag of truce the governor's proclama- 
tion, a manifesto and letter from the general, copies of which, to- 
gether with another letter and my answers, you have enclosed. I 
then waited only until Colonel Martin and Colonel Thackston, who 
I had certain inteliigence were on their m^arch, should get near 
enough to cut oft their retreat, and then determined to avail myself 
of the first favorable opportunity of attacking them. However, con- 
trary to my expectations. I learned on the 21st that they had the 
night before, and that morning, crossed the Northwest river at 
Campbellton with the whole army, sunk and destroyed all the boats. 
and taken their route the most direct way to Negro-head Point.* 
I then despatched an express to Colonel Caswell, who was on his 
march to join us with about eight hundred men, and directed him 
to return and take possession of Corbett's Ferry over Black River, 
and by every means to obstruct, harass and distress them in their 
march. At the same time I directed Colonel Martin and Colonel 
Thackston to take possession of Cross Creek, in order to prevent 
their return that way. Colonel Lillington and Colonel Ashe I 
ordered by a forced march to endeavor if possible to re-enforct 
Colonel Caswell ; but if that could not be efrected to take possession 
of Moore's Creek Bridge, while I proceeded back with the remainder 
of our army to cross the Northwest at Elizabethtown. so as either 
to meet them on their way to Corbett's Ferry, or fall in their rear 
and surround them there. On the 23d I crossed the river at Eliza- 
bethtown, where I was compelled to wait for a supply of provisions 
until the 24th at night, having learned that Colonel Caswell was 
almost entirely without. Just when I was prepared to march, I 
received an express from Colonel Caswell, informing me that the 
Tories had raised a flat which been sunk in Black River, about 

*The point opposite Wilmington between the two branches of 
the Cape Fear River. 



'776 five miles above him, and by erecting a bridge had passed it with 

the whole army. I then determined as a last expedient to proceed 
immediately m boats down the Northwest River to Dollerson's Land- 
ing, about sixty miles, and to take possession of Moore's Creek 
Bridge, about ten miles from thence; at the same time acquainting 
Colonel Caswell of my intentions, and recommending to him to 
retreat to Mcore's Creek Bridge if possible, but if not to follow on 
Moore;s in their rear. The next day by four o'clock we arrived at Dollerson's 

Landing, but as we could not possibly march that night, for the 
want of horses for the artillery, I despatched an express to Moore's 
Creek Bridge to learn the situation of affairs there, and was m- 
formed that Colonel Lillington. who had the day before taken his 
stand at the bridge, was that afternoon reenforced by .Colonel Cas- 
well, and that they had raised a small breastwork and de;troyed a 
part of the bridge. 

The next morning, the 27th, at break of day. an alarm gun was 
fired, immediately after which, scarce allowing our people a mo- 
ment to prepare, the Tory army, with Captain McLeod at the head. 
made their attack on Colonel Caswell and Colonel Lillington, and 
finding a small entrenchment next the bridge, on our side, empty, 
concluded that our people had abandoned their post, and in the most 
furious manner advanced within thirty paces of our breastwork and 
artillery, where they met a very proper reception. Captain McLeod 
and Captain Campbell fell within a few paces of the breastwork, 
the former oi whom received upward of twenty balls in his body; 
and in a very few minutes their whole army was put to flight, and 
most shamefully abandoned their general, who was next day taken 
prisoner. The loss of the enemy in this action from the best ac- 
counts we have been able to learn, is about thirty killed and 
wounded, but as numbers of them must have fallen into the creek, 
besides m.any miore that were carried off. I suppose their loss m.ay 
be estimated at about fifty. We had only two wounded, one of 
whom died this day. . . . 

In order to avoid as much as possible the heavy expense unavoid- 
ably incurred by this expedition. I sometime ago directed Colonel 
Martin to disband all the troops under his command, except one 
thousand, including the regulars, and with those to secure the per- 
sons and estates of the insurgents, s<ibject to your further orders, 
and then to proceed to this place, unless otherwise directed. How- 
ever, as I do not think the service just now requires ?!ich a number 
of men in arm.s. I shall immediately direct them to disband all ex- 
cept the regulars, n:id with those to r(.main in and about Cross 
Creek until further orders. . . . etc. 

James Moore. 



The Council. 1775-76 — Continued 

The Provincial Congress. — The spirit of independence. — In the 
Continental Congress. — At Halifax. — The committee. — The un- 
daunted spirit to declare independence, — The delegates instructed. 
— North Carolina leads the way. — The captured Tories. — The 
drums and coiors. — \\'ar measures. — On the water. — The Tories. 
— Four new battalions, — For defence of Cape Fear. — Militia 
drafts, — Civil affairs, — The members of the congress. 

The Provincial Congress 

Called to meet on April 2d, it was not until Thursday, ^j.'! 

the 4th. that a majority of the members of the cons^ress 
assembled at Halifax. Seldom has a body met under similar April, 
circumstances. The insurrection of the Highlanders and 
Regulators and the movement of the Tories in many parts 
of the State were in themselves causes of inquietude. It t^--- 
was evident that in many counties, indeed, in nearly every 
community, there was a considerable element of disaffected 
persons not only unwilling" to sustain the revolutionary move- 
ment but so far attached to the royal cause as to take up 
arms against their neighbors. Besides, the province stood 
in the shadow of a great peril. It was well known that a 
large British force was on its way to the Cape Fear and 
had been detained only by protracted storms, anrl its arrival 
was now daily expected. Dunmore, from the Chesapeake, 
was also sending expeditions along the coast to harass the 
inhabitants, capture vessels, and interrupt commerce. Within 
and without there was cause for foreboding. The jail at 
Halifax was filled with officers of the insurgent force and 
promoters of th.e insurrection, of whom some disposition 
had to be made to render them harmless, while policy and 

c. R„ x, 

49 J 


514 THE PROriXCLlL COi'XCIL, 1775-76 

V, ise ?Lato>inanship reciuired that a conciliatory course should 
be pursued reconciling the LoyaHsts at least to an acqui- 
escence in the measures of the congress. The period tV.r 
which the minute men had been enrolled was expiring, and 
the great need for additional troops, for arms, ammunition, 
and equipments was a cause of anxious solicitude, while ll:e 
province was absolutely without funds. The condition of 
aftairs, too, seemed to demand a more efficient system of 
governm.ent, one that could direct military operations and 
conduct the civil administration v.ith more despatch than 
the temporary arrangement that had been adopted by the 
previous convention. Such a pressure of important matters 
demanding immediate consideration and prompt action had 
never before been experienced by North Carolina statesmen. 
But the courage of the congress rose equal to the occasion, 
and with brave hearts the patriots addressed themselves to 
devising measures required by the exigency of their novel 

The spirit of independence 

Xot only were they strengthened by their overwhelming 
and glorious victory, but now they were animated by the 
spirit of independence. In this they were unanimous. Sam 
Johnston, the wise, prudent, and cautious, the counsellor and 
guide, was again chosen president without dissent, and he 
joyfully wrote at once to his brother: "All our people here 

McRee's are up for indepent'.ence." A fortnight later, when Hooper 
and Penn came from Philadelphia, they learned that "in 
many counties there was not a dissenting voice." 
; • The Continental Congress and the people of the other 

provinces were dilatory, dallying with a delusive hope of 

The reconciliation. Early in January Paine had published in 

development j-,, ., , ^ , . '^ , ../^ ' .-^ »• i ^ I 

of the 1 hiladelphia a pamphlet, Common Sense, tliat arrested 

purpose attention. Among the depr.ties it seems to have been re- 
garded "as a curiosity." Save a few individual expressions 
in local papers, it was the first cry for independence since 
Mecklenburg had raised her voice in jNIay, 1775- A month 
later Penn. always among the boldest, sent a copy to Person 
C.R..X, without comment: and Hewes forwarded one to Johnston, 
baying only: "It is a curiosity. We have not put up any 

Iredell, I, 


44^. 447 


to go by the wacrcn."' not knowing how you might reUsh U.!! 

independency. The author is not known: some say Dr. fj^f^j"'^"'^' 
Franklin had a hand in it : he denies it." Hewes's spirit led 
him to say : "All accounts from England seem to agree that 
we shall have a drea^iful storm bursting on our heads 
through all America in the spring. We must not shrink 
from it; we ouglit not lo show any symptoms of fear; the 
nearer it approaches and the greater the sound, the more 
fortitude and calm, steady firmness we ought to possess. If 
we mean to defend our liberties, our dearest rights and 
privileges against the power of Britain to the last extremity, 
we ought to bring ourselves to such a temper of mitrl 'as to 
stand unmoved at the bursting of an earthquake. Although 
the storm thickens. I feel m.yself quite composed." 

At the close of October the king had from the throne ^"^^.^j^^^^^j 
charged the colonies v.dth levying for the purpose of Congiess 
establishing an indepen*ient empire; but he proposed, while 
emploving a hireling: force from the continent to subdue 
them, to send com.missioners v.dth power to grant pardons 
and receive the submission of the several colonies. He would 
not, however, treat with th.e Continental Congress. That 
was resolutely dt-termined. By two to one the Parliamient 
was of the same m.ind. Such v.-as the information that came 
across the seas early in January. And yet the congress and 
the people waited — anxiously waited for the arrival of the 
commissioners. On February 14th Penn wrote to Person: 
"Our dispute with Great Britain grows serious indeed. Jj^^-^,^- 
Matters are drawing to a crisis. They seem determined to 
persevere, and are forming alliances against us. ]\Iust we 
not do something of the like nature? Can we hope to carry 
on a war without having trade or com.merce somewhere? 
. . . The consequence of making alliances is perhaps a total ^{{l^^^ 
separation with Britain, and without something of that sort 
we may not be able to provide what is necessary for our de- 
fence. ]\Iy first wish is that Am.erica may be free ; the 
second, that we may be restored to peace and harmony with 
Britain upon just and proper terms." 

Two days later, on February 16th. it was proposed to open A^t_piuia(iei- 
the ports and renew commerce with all the world except 

*For general diitribution. 



m^ Great Britain. In the discussion. Wythe, of \'irginia, said : 

"How, as subjects of Great Britain — as rebels? Xo: we 
must declare that the colonies have a right to contract alli- 
ances with foreign powers !" The eloquent Virginian struck 
the same chord as Penn ; but the question of opening the 
ports, involving this difficulty, was destined to remain unde- 
cided for more than two months. 

Later Hewes wrote to Johnston : 'T see no prospect 
of a reconciliation; nothing is left now but to fight it out. 
Nor are we unanimous in our councils. Jealousies, ill- 
natured obser\'ations, and recriminations take place of 
R., XI, reason and argument. Some among us urge- stronglv for 
independency and eternal separation, others wish to wait a 
little longer and to have the opinion of their constituents on 
that subject. You must give us the sentiments of your prov- 
ince when your convention meets." And on March ist, the 

c R X, Xorth Carolina deputies wrote to the Provincial Congress 

askmg directions concerning forming alliances. 

At Halifax, On tlic Organization of the Provincial Congress, Johnston 
April 4th • , ,, 1 • , , ^ . -' 

was unanimously called to preside, and committees were at 

once appointed to map out the business of the body. 

Now it was determined to arrange for at least one year of 

actual war, and a committee of ways and means was directed 

to devise measures for supporting troops to be raised for 

that period. A committee of secrecy was appointed, of 

which Johnston was the head, to whom all intelligence was 

J , first submitted, and it was their province to determine what 

should be imparted to the congress itself. And on the 

. ; fourth day of the session, April 8th, a committee composed 

of Harnett. Allen Jones, Burke. Nash, Kinchen, Person, and 

Thomas Jones was appointed to take into consideration the 

usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the 

king and Parliament of Britain against America, and further 

measures to be taken for frustrating them and for the better 

defence of the province. 

'^^^ , The congress — all the members — were unanimous for sep- 

undaunted _ ~ _ ' 

spirit aration, for declaring themselves no longer British, sub- 

jects, hut citizens of a new-born nationality. It wa': a mo- 
mentous matter. It would change the nature of the struggle. 
Not as subjects rebelling against the oppressions of Par- 

C. R.. X, 


APRIL 12, iyr6 517 

lianicnt. but as freemen asserting- the right of self-govern- ^^f 

nicnt, were they now to invoke the arbitrament of arms. The 

congress took steps to sound the people. It was ascertained 

that the popular heart was strong for independence. In 

many counties there was not a dissenting voice. Ominous 

was the war cloud now gathering and expected soon to 

burst on the devoted province. Already forty sail had 

anchored in the harbor of the Cape Fear. There Clinton 

with his detachment from the north waited the arrival of 

Cornwallis with his seven regiments to subjugate the people. 

The prosi^ect was full of peril. But the hearts of the 

patriots did not quail. Under the lead of Johnston, Harnett, 

Ashe and their associates their spirit rose to loftier heights 

as dangers thickened. 

On the night of April 12th the congress having received 
some very important intelligence,* at once took up for con- 
sideration the letter of ^larch ist, from Hooper, Hewes and 
Penn, asking instructions in regard to forming alliances. 

Harnett's committee ^vas resolute and ready to report ; 1776 
short and vigorous wa^ the conclusi'in of the matter. What- irede" i, 
ever of doul)t there had been was now cast aside. The ^"^ 
bonds binding the jieople to the past were to be broken, and +95 
a new purpose, a new hope, that of independence, was to 
animate them to action. The c]uestion Wythe had thun- 
dered at Philadelphia was answered by the congress at 
Halifax. , • ■ i 

To declare independence 

Early Saturday morning Johnston wrote to his brother : 
"The house, in conse^iuence of some very important intelli- 
gence received last night, have agreed to empower their 
delegates at Philadelphia to concur with the other colonies 
in entering into foreign alliances, and declaring an indepen- 
dence on Great Britain. I cannot be more particular." 

On the night before, Friday, April 12th. the committee 
brought in its report, reciting the acts of the British min- 
istry and of the king and Parliament and authorizii^.g the 
delegates to the Continental Congress to concur in declaring 

^.\pparently from General Moore. (S. R., XL, 276.) 


L"^ They reported as follows : 

C. R., X, '"^'- ^PP<^''i^= to your committee that pursuant to the plan 

512 concerted by the British ministry for subjugating America, the 

king and Parliament of Great Britain have usurped a power 
over the persons and properties of the people unlimited and uii- 
controuled; and disregarding their humble petitions for prace. 
hbcrty. and safety. ha\e made divers legislative acts, denouncing; 
war. famine and every species of calamity against the continent in 
general: the Briti.-h fleets and armies have been and still are daily 
employed m destroying the people and committing the most horrid 
devastations on the country: that governors in different colonies 
have declared protection to slaves who should imbrue their hands 
^"^ '' ■" ■ ■ in the blood of their ma'^ters: that the ships belon'ging to America 

arc declared prizes of and many of them have been violently 
seized and confiscated. In consequence of all which, multitudes of 
• •.-, . . the people have been destroyed, and from easy circumstances reduced 

to the m.ost lamentable distress. 

"And whereas the moderation hitherto manifested by the united 
colonics and their sincere desire to be reconciled to the mother 
country on constitutional principles, have procured no mitigation 
of the aforesaid wrongs . . . and no hopes remain of obtaining re- 
dress by tho.'re means alone wiiich have been hitherto tried, your 
.,, .p. , ■ conmiittee are of opinion that the house should enter into the fol- 

lowing resolve, to wit: 
To concur "Rcsoh'cd, That the delegates of this colony in the continental 

independi-"^ cougress be empowered to concur with the delegates of the other 
colonies in declaring independency, and forming foreign alliances, 
reserving to this ci'ony the sole and exclusive right of forming a 
constitution and l;n\ s for this colony, and of appointing delegates 
from time to time ( under the direction oi a general representation 
thereof), to meet the delegates of the other colonies for such pur- 
poses as shall be hereafter pointed out."' 

Xig^ht had already closed in: btit dotibtless with bnrninic 
words Harnett, accomplislied and silver-tongtied, urg:ed the 
adoption of the resolution presented by the committee witli 
all his powers. It was tinanirnotisly accepted as the voice 
of North Carolina. Xo other business was transacted, but 
the session of the day closed with this great performance. 
The ne.xt day President Johnston wrote to Hooper, Hewes. 
and Pcnn in great haste: "The cong^ress have likewise taken 
under consideration that part of your letter* requiring their 

=^0f March ist. 



instructions with respect to enterint,^ into foreign alliances, H^ 

aiul were unanimous in their concurrence with the enclosed 
resolve, confiding entirely in your discretion with regard to 
the exercise of the power with wliich you are invested." 

But Hooper and Pcnn were then in Mrginia on their c.r.x, 
route to Haliiax, where they arrived m time to take their 
seats on Monday, the 15th. They had the gratification of 
finding the congress responsive to the sentiment of the 
people, pronounced for independence, and earnest and 
zealous for defence. 

The first action 

Indeed, this resolution for indepcnflence was the first 
utterance for separation that had heen made on behalf of any 
colon)' in America. [Mecklenburg's voice and action in ?vlay, 
1775, annulling all the commissions and powers derived from 
the Crown and establishing an in'iependent government, was 
then premature and out of harmony with the spirit of the 
times : even now the people "of the other colonies from New 
England to \'irginia were in solid array against indepen- 
dence." This first voice of any province leading the way t^J^'*""*^' 
gave heart to the patriots and strengthened the independent j^l.^'^J,;^,',''^ 
spirit which was beginning to manifest itself in other com- 504.509 
munities. "It was warmly welcomed by the patriots and 
commended for imitation." In Mrginia the idea of inde- yirdniaacts 

. . '" May 

pendence was said to have been alarming in IMarch, but was 
welcome in April ; and a month after Xorth Carolina had 
acted the Mrginia convention met and adopted a similar 
resolution, directing its delegates in congress to propose 
independence and separation. But it is the crowning glory 
of Xorth Carolina that her sons had the manhood and spirit 
to desire independence, the wisdom to perceive that the 
change in the purpose of the contest would add to the prob- 
abilities of a successful achievement and the boldness to lead 
the way. 

The captured Tories 

One of the first questions that claimed the attention of 
congress was the disposition of the prisoners taken at 

520 THE PROriXCIAL COUXCIL, i775-7^ 

•776 Moore's Creek. They had been confined in the HaHfax jatl. 

Because his health was suffering-. General McDonald was 
immediately paroled to the town, and a day or two latiT 
Allan McDonald was also admitted to parole. A committer 
was appointed to examine into the cases of the dift'erent 
Care of the prisouers, about fifty of whom were paroled to return hnnu-, 
prisoners ^^.j^jjg sQ^ne ^yerc directed to be removed to other communi- 
ties within the province, being allowed reasonable time t(> 
arrange their affairs at home, and with the privilege of 
c. R.,x, removing their families, as they should prefer. George 
^^ . ^ Micklejohn was paroled to Perquimans, and James Hunter 
' ' to Bute. James Lowe and Robert Adams, who shot Captain 
Dent, were ordered to Halifax jail. Persons were appointed 
in the several counties to look after the families of the insur- 
gents at their old homes or in their new ones. 

Eventually, toward the end of April, it was determined 
that fifty-three of the number, including General McDonald 
and other influential Highlanders, should be removed to 
Pennsyhania. and others to Virginia and Maryland, where 
PoHc '^^^^y ^^^^^ confined until exchanged or discharged by con- 

towarris the oress * In view^ of the rigorous measures which the con- 
gress felt constrained to take with regard to these insur- 
gents, on Ai)ril 2i;th it issued a declaration lamenting the 
necessities and har(lshi])S of the occasion, and declaring t'> 
c.R.,x. those who still remained in the State that, "We administer 
this consolation — that they may rest assured that no wanton 
acts of cruelty, no severity, shall be exercised to the prison- 
ers. . . . We have their security in contemplation, not to 
make them miserable. In our power, their errors claim our 
pity, their situation disarms our resentment. We shall hail 
their reformation with increasing pleasure, and receive them 
to us with open arms, . . . and shall bless the day wdiich 
shall restore them to us friends to liberty, to the cause of 
America, the cause of God and mankind. . . . Much de- 
pends upon the future demeanor of the friends of the insur- 
gents who are left among us as to the treatment our pris- 
oners may experience. Let them consider them as hostages 
for their own good behavior, and by their own merits make 
kind offices to their friends a tribute of duty as well as 
*They were confined at Reading, Pa., and Staunton, Va. 


548, 549 


humanity from us who b.ave them in our power." The 'Ji^ 

(ieclaration from which this i^ extracted was directed to be April 
translated into Erse, and the committees appointed in the 
several counties to take care of the families of the insurgents 
were directed to see there was no suffering. 

The drums and colors 

On tlie dav the convention met there arrived at Halifax McRec's 
the wagon sent by the delegates at Philadelphia with powder, 273 * ' 
drums and colors, as ordered by the council in December. 
Up to this time, as far as appears, the troops of the province 
had used no colors. At Charleston a flag bearing a crescent 
was in use. At Boston, the Massachusetts troops used a 
flag with a pine tree, the pine tree having for a century been 
the emblem of that colony. On the sea, the early flag bore a xheflag 
rattlesnake, with the legend, "Don't tread on me." The first 
flag of the united colonies was made at Philadelphia and 
sent to General Washington, who raised it on January 2, 
1776, at his headquarters at Cambridge. This flag consisted 
of seven red and six white bars or stripes and a field of 
the king's colors, red and white crosses on a blue ground. 
It has been said that until 1777 the snake flag was used by 
the southern states; but as the colors received in April were The red and 
sent by the North Carolina deputies from Philadelphia after ^^*>"^ '^"^ 
the striped flag had been mad.e and used by Washington as 
the continental colors, it is surmised that they were of that 

To supplv the m.oney needed in the military operations, w^ 
congress directed the issue of $1,000,000 in notes, and re- 
solved that a tax should be laid on the poll, beginning in the 
year 1780. to retire that issue: and appropriations were made 
to pay all the soldiers, militia and others that had been in 
the service of the province, and for arms and equipments. 
Commissioners were also appointed to procure sulphur, salt- 
petre, and salt, and to establish ironworks and foundries on 
Deep River. 
On the water 

The Cape Fear and Chesapeake Bay being closed, and 
Beaufort frequcntlv visited by British cruisers, the impor- 
tance of Ocracoke Inlet as a channel of commerce became 



TflE PROnXCI.iL COiW'CIL, 1/73-7^ 

'77^ crreatlv increased. The enterprising merchants of Edenton 

c:r.,x, and Vew Bern and of the village of Washington on the 
&S''''' Pamhco despatched vessel after vessel abroad, ^vho^e return 
cargoes of salt, powder, cannon and other munitions of war 
an.r necessaries contributed largely to supply the needs of 
importa- the public. The f^rms of Hewes & Smith, at Edenton, and 
''"""" John Wright Stanlv. at Xew Bern, took the lead in this 

hazardous'^enterprise. Their patriotism and unremitting ac- 
tivity proved of great advantage to the American cause. 
Others also engaged in the same work, and besides trading 
vessels, there were fitted out privateers to prey on British 
commerce, while the State itself constructed armed cruisers 
for the public service. At Wilmington the George IVashing- 
ton was built; at New Bern, the Pcnnsylrania Farmer; at 
. ' Edenton. Kiu^ Tammany: while the Heart of Oak, the 
■,:< . Poll\ and other vessels were granted letters of marque as 


c R X In order to interrupt importations through Ocracoke. Uun- 

55° "" more sent two armed sloops, the LUy and the Fineastle, to 

';eize <uch vessels as might be there; and on April 14th the 

l^JZ^" lily captured the schooner PoUx, removed part of her cargo 

and left a prize crew in charge of her. But the patriots were 

not idle. Three days later a number of armed men, m five 

whaleboats, captured the Lily and retook the Polly, the 

\\'hig5 showing as much enterprise and skill on the water 

^ '"''• as on the land. 

Because considerable importations were made through 
this channel for the benefit of \Trginia as well as for the 
Continental Congress, of which Hewes was one of the most 
efficient agents, it was thought that \'irginia should aid in 

l- ' • keeping Ocracoke open. Application was therefore made to 
that province to fit out two armed vessels to act in conjunc- 

t tion with those equipped bv North Carolina. The sugges- 

^ tion was acted on promptly, and two large row-galleys were 

built at South Quay by Virginia, one of which afterward 
came into possession of North Carolina. 

The Tories 
C.R..X. In diiterent parts of the province the disatYccted element 

'''•"* made manifestations of their Toryism. In Edgecombe a 


IkhIv was dispersed by a party of Whigs under John John- 'J^ 

sion ; and the Committee of Safety of Rowan thought it well 
10 (Hsarni some of the inhabitants of Muddy Creek. But, 
on the other hand, committee was cheered by patriotic 
resolutions signed by a number of ladies of Rowan, as had 
been the committee of ]\iecklenburg by resolutions entered 
into somewhat earlier by the young ladies of that county, 
that they would not receive the addresses of young gentle- 
men except the brave volunteers who had served in the expe- Foote, 
dition against the Scovellites. The women of the v/est Nlr.'h ^ 

1 i j.t_ Carolina, 

were as resolute as the men. 51, 

The difficulties of enrolling the militia who were to turn 
out and supplying them with arms was forcibly stated by 
Colonel William Bryan, of Johnston, who was almost in 
dcs[)air from the adverse circumstances that surrounded him. 
lie added: "'We have several obstinate persons in this 
county, and I believe they are great Tories in their hearts; 
they are constantly sowing sedition in the minds of the 
people. I should be glad if the light horse could be directed 
to take a turn through our county. I believe if there could 
be a few of the heads of them subdued it would be of great 
service to the county. I have so little dependence in the c. r., x, 
militia that I don't think convenient to undertake to subdue ^" 
them that way." ,.,■.- 

Four new battalions 

In view of the pressing necessity for more troops, the con- Adduionai 
gress now raised four additional continental regiments, mentr 
assigning to their commaml Jethro Sumner, Thomas Polk, 
Edward Buncombe, and Alexander Lillington. The period 
for which the minute men were enlisted having expired, 
some of the officers of that organization were transferred 
to these new regiments, among them Colonel James Thack- 
ston becoming lieutenant-colonel under Colonel Polk. Three 
companies of light horse were also raised, commanded re- 
spectively by John Dickerson, ]\Iartin Phifer, and James 
Jones. An artillery company was directed to be organized 
by Captain John \'ance. To protect the coast, five companies 
were embodied and stationed from Currituck to the Cape 
Fear. Two battalions of militia, seven hundred and fifty men 

524 THE PkOnWlAL COIWCIL. 1775-76 

^ each, were directed to be raised in the eastern cUstricts, om- 

to be under the command of Colonel Thomas Brown and t\\r 
other under Colonel Philemon Hawkins. These battalion^, 
the Second Continental Resriment, and all the recruits en- 
listed for the new regiments were ordered to report imme- 
diately to General Moore on the Cape Fear. 

A new system was devised for the militia. The com- 
panies of the militia in the several counties were to consist 
of not less than fifty men. Each company was divided into 

c. R., X, f^Yg divisions. One of these consisted of the ae:ed and infinn. 
the other militiamen being- apportioned to four divisions, 

The militia that drew lots to ascertain when they should go on dutv, 
and were severally known as number one. two. three, and 
four, accordingly. Each county had its militia field officers; 
and the province was divided into six military districts, a 

c. R., X, brigadier-general being appointed for each. In his own 
district the brigadier took rank of the others. The militia 
was not to be under continental officers, except when ordered 
by the civil power to join the continental troops, and then 
the continental officer of equal rank took command. 

The forces Ou May 6th. because of information frnm General ]^Ioore. 
* the congress <lirected the generals of rhe province to call 
out their militia and hasten to join General Moore, and or- 
dered General Ashe to take command of the re-enforce- 

c^ R., X, ments upon their arrival in his district. The generals 
elected by the congress were Allen Jones, for the Halifax 
district : John Ashe, Wilmington ; Edward \'ail. Edenton ; 
Griffith Rutherford, Sali-^bury ; Thomas Person, Plillsboro ; 
and William P)ryan, New Bern.* 

Notwithstanding the military matters that were pressing 
on the attention of congress that body realized the necessity 

Vestrymen of makingT provisiou for the civil life of the province. ( />!! 

to take the 11, • 1 • "I 

tciioath 'Slay 1st It resolved that all vestries electcl m every parisli. 
having taken the test adopted on August 23. 1775, should 
proceed to parochial business, and where no election had 
taken place on Easter ^Monday, April 8th. the freeholders 

c. R.. X, were directed, to meet in July and elect vestrymen, wlvi 
should qualify themselves by subscribing the test. Con- 

*Richard Car^wcll wa-; at tir.-t chosen brigadier-general of the New- 
Bern district, but did nut serve. 



formably to this resrjlution. the vestry of Edenton on 
June 19th met anJ signed th.e test, as probably did all the 
other vestrymen chosen thronghout the province, and as all 
the committees and other officers were required to do. It 
was the duty of the vestrymen in every county or parish 
to look after the poor and attend to much business not of 
an ecclesiastical nature. 

Members of the congress of April, 1776, that declared for inde- 
pendence, April 12, 1776 

For Anson County — Daniel Love. Samuel Spencer. John Craw- 
ford. James Picket and John Childs. 

Beaufort — Roger Orniond. Thomas Respis, Jr., and John 
Cow per. 

Bladen — Nathaniel Richardson. Thomas Robeson, Maturan Col- 
vill, James Council and Thomas Amis. 

Bertie — John Campbell. John Johnston and Charles Jacocks. 

Brunswick — 

Bute — Green Hill. William Alston, William Person, Thomas 
Sherrod and Philemon Hawkins. 

Craven — James Coor, Lemuel Hatch, John Bryan, William Bryan 
and Jacob Blount. 

Carteret — William Thompson, Solomon Shepard and John Black- 

Currituck — Samuel Jarvis, James White, James Ryan. Gideon 
Lamb and Solomon Perkins. 

Chowan — Samuel Johnston. Thomas Benbury, Thomas Jones, 
John Bap. Beasly and Thomas Hunter. 

Cumberland — David Smith. Alexander McAlister, Farquard 
Campbell. Thomas Rutherford and Alexander 3,IcCoy. 

Chatham — Ambrose Ramsay. John Thompson. Joshua Rosser, 
Jeduthan Harper and Elisha Cain. 

Duplin — Thomas Gray and William Dickson. 

Dobbs — Richard Caswell, .Abraham Sheppard, George Miller, 
Simon Bright and William McKinnie. 

Edgecomb — William Haywood. Duncan Lemon. Elisha Battle, 
Henry Irwin and Nathaniel Boddie. 

Granville — Thomas Person, John Penn, Memucan Hunt, John 
Taylor and Charles Eaton. 

Guilford— R.nnsom Southerland. William '^e.wt and Ralph Gorrill. 

Hyde— Rotheas Latham, Joseph Hancock, John Jordan and Ben- 
jamin Parmele. 

-^26 THE PROriXCIAL COUXCIL. i775'7^ 


Hertford— Robert Sumner, Alatthias Brickie, Laurence Baker, 
William M;irr'ree. 

Halifax— John Bradford. James Hogan, David Sumner, Joseph 
John Williams and Willis Alston. 

Johnston— Samuel Smith. Jr.. Needham Bryan. Jr.. and Henry 

Mecklenburg— John Phifer, Robert Irsvin and John McKniit 


Martin— William Williams, Whitm.ill Hill, Kenneth McKenzie. 
Thomas Wiggins and Edward Smythwick. 

New Hanover— John Ashe. John Devane, Sam.uel Ashe, Sampson 
Moseley and John Hollingsworth. 

Northampton— Allen Jones. Jeptha Atherton, Drury Gee, Samuel 
Lockhart and Howell Edmunds. 

Onslow— George Mitchell, Benejah Doty. John Spicer. John King 
and John Norman. 

Orange— John Kinchen. James Saunders. John Butler, Nathaniel 
Rochester and Thomas Burke. 

Perquimans— Miles Harvey. William Skinner, Thomas Harvey, 
Charles Blount and Charles Moore. 

Pasquotank— Thomas Boyd, Joseph Jones, William Cuming, 
Dempsey Burgees and Henry Abbott. 

Pitt— John Simpson. Edward Salter and William Robson. 
Rowan— Grifnth Rutherford and Matthew Locke. 
Surry— Joseph Williams. Joseph Winston. Charles Gordon. 
Tyrrell — Archibald Corrie. 
Trvon— Charles McLean. James Johnston. 

Wake— Joel Lane. John Hinton. John Rand. William Hooper and 
Tignal Jones. 

Town of Bath- William Brown. 
New Bern — Abner Nash. 
Edenton — Joseph Hewes. 
Wilmington— Cornelius Harnett. 
Brunswick — 
Halifax — Willie Jones. 
Hillsborough— William Johnston. 
Salisbury— David Nisbet. 
Cambelhon — Arthur Council. 

The Council of Safety, 1776 

Attempt to framo the Constitution.— Fundamental principles.— The 
problems involved.— The temporary government.— Coneres-^ ad- 
journ?.— The first invasion.— General Lee.— Clinton's disappointment 
—The fleet arrives.- The ardor of the Whi^s.- Clinton offers par- 
don.— No hostile movement.- The descent on Brunswick.— The regi- 
ments land.- The fleet sails.— The Council of Safetv.— The altack 
on Fort Moultrie.— North Carolina's gallant troops.— Affairs at 
home.— The Continentals. 

Attempt to frame a constitution 

On April 13th the congress, now flushed by the desire IZ/i 

of independence, appointed a committee composed of ^- R- x- 
Johnston, Harnett. Thomas Jones. Nash, Burke, Alien Jones, ''" 
John Johnston. Thomas Person, Sam Ashe, Samuel Spencer 
and nine others to prepare a temporary civil .g-overnment. ApHi 
The committee seems to have at once undertaken to cast a 
permanent constitution. A majority of the committee tTL y 
favored the establishment of a purely democratic form of •i^'^' "'^'i 
.government, the .governor, judg^es, and all other officers 
being- chosen by the people, and every freeman having the 
right of suffra.g-e. They were probably led to urge this jone.'s 
departure from the old system not merely from the advo- fy'lTjs"' 
cacy of the "inherent and unalienable rights of man," but 
with the hope and expectation that it would gain for the 
new governinent the support of the landless Highlanders and 
of others not freeholders, and of the Regulators, who were 
dissatisfied with the colonial regulations that had proved 
so oppressive in their practical operation. 

This desire to extend suffrage is said to have been the rock 
on which the public men split. As yet there was no curb to 
the will of the legislative body. Never had a court declared 
any legislative action a nullity. Once elected and in pos- 
session of power the Assembly could extend its sessions and 

528 THE COUNCIL 01' S.IFETV. ij-j6 

2:1 exert arbitrary sway, ignorini^^ all limitations and evcrv 

restriction that might be enib^dieil in the constitution; anl 
it was apprehended that a judiciary dependent on the wdl 
of the people would lack that stability and independence 
which constitute the safeguard of personal rights and of 
D^vergen- property. The fundamental principles on which the new 
government was to be founded thus became a matter of the 
gravest concern. Divergencies at once arose. Tiiere were 
those who proposed to give the fullest recognition to the 
rights of the people as a source of all power, and others 
who deemed it wiser and more prudent not to inaugurate 
such a change in the administration of affairs as this would 
necessarily involve. Theretofore sultrage had been limited 
to freeholders; and the judiciary was appointed. Samuel 
Johnston, who had been the most influential man in the 
Apprehen- proviucc, fclt that the despotism of a democracv was to be 
feared, and that a judiciary resting on the popular will, with 
the judges not independent, but courting popularity, wouM 
be intolerable ; and he was determined in his opposition to 
the establishment of a government wilhout any practical 
limitation to its powers, and with the tenure of all the great 
offices dependent on the favor of the inhabitants generally. 
In his view those who advocated this system were "already 
entering on the race for popularity." and he apprehended 
that the greatest evils would result from such a plan of 
government. Instead of a pure democracy, he urged the 
establishment of a representative republic, with annual elec- 
tions to hold the legislature in check. Educated in New 
England, he was a thorough republican. But he agreed 
with John Adams, who had written a dissertatitjn on gov- 
ernment advising the establishment of new constitutions on 
Sir.i, ^^'^^ ^''^^y princii)les that Johnston advocated. He would nut 
»76 yield. On April 17th he wrote: 'T must confess our pros- 

pects are at this time very gloomy. Our people are about 
forming a constitution. From what I can at present collect 
of their plan, it will be impossible for me to take any part 
in the execution of it." 
L)Ten.!e, Bciug ovcrbome, on the i8th he withdrew from the 

=7'^. '79 committee; but the next day Thomas Jones, also a con- 
servative, but not so avowed in his principles as Johnston. 


notifietl him that the disa^^reeable (Hfficnlty which had inter- l^f 

runted the harmony of the committee had been adjusted, 
and invited him to meet the other members that evening^. 

And again, on April 20th. Johnston wrote: "We have not 
vet been able to agree on a constitution. We have a meeting 
on it everv evening, but can conclude on nothing : the great 
ditiftculty in our way is how to establish a check on the 
representatives of the people, to prevent their assuming 
more power than would be consistent with the liberties of 
the people, such as increasing the time of their duration, 
and such like. . . . Some have proposed that we should take ^l^^f^f\ 
up the plan of the Connecticut constitution for a ground- 276, 277 ' 
work, but v.-ith some amendments, such as that the great of- 
ficers, in.-teatl of being appointed by the people at large, 
should be appointed by the Assembly ; that the judges of our 
courts should hold their offices during good behavior. After 
all, it appears to me that there can be no check on the repre- 
sentatives of tlie i^eople in a democracy but the people them- 
selves ; and in order that the check may be more efficient, I 
would liave annual elections." 

Up to that time there had been no new constitution 
adopted in any province except alone South Carolina. The 
people of Connecticut were then living, and continued to 
live until 1818. under the charter granted in 1662 by 
Charles II. by which the governor and twelve assistants 
and the general asseml)ly were chosen by a majority of the 
freemen of the colony ; but the governor and his assistants 
were empowered to erect courts and appoint judges and 
otherwise administer public attairs. On March 26th South The^^ ^^^^ 
Carolina had adopted a constitution to regulate the internal !'^"s"„l'h'"" 
politv of the colony "until an accommod.ation of the unhappy 
differences between Great Britain ami America can be ob- 
tained." By it the electors were to be the same as under the 
old laws, and they were to choose members of the general 
assemblv, who were to select out of themselves a legislative 
council to form a separate and distinct house, with equal leg- 
islative power as the Assembly itself; and these two houses 
were to choose a president of the province and a council 
of state. A printed copy of this constitution was obtained 
bv the North Carolina congress. On April 28th Thomas 


^jj^ Tones wrote : "The constitution goes on but slowly. The 

McRee's outliues ot it made their appearance in the house for the 
277/^7^ ' first time ye-terflay, and by the last of this week it probablv 
may be finished. The plan as it now stands will be subject 
to manv alterations ; at present it is in the following manner: 
The first First, a house of the representatives of the people, all free 
householders 01 one year s stanamg to vote ; and second, a 
legislative council, to consist of one member from each 
county in the province, to sit as an upper house ; and these 
two houses are to be a check on each other, as no law can 
be made without the consent of both, and none but free- 
holders will have a right to vote for the members of thii- 
council. Xext. an executive council, to consist of the presi- 
dent and six councillors, to be always sitting, to do all 
official business of governnient. . . . The president and 
council to be elected annually, as also the Assembly and leg- 
islative council." The judicial system apparently had not 
been agreed on. 
The con- Johnston had so far prevailed that there were to be annual 

posipoTej elections of assemblymen: and at least one branch of the 
Assembly was to be elected by freeholders. For two days 
,;,,■. this outline was debated by the convention in committee of 

the whole, but the divergencies were pronounced and other 
matters required attention, so on April 30th the subject was 
postponed until November : and a new committee, com- 
posed, however, of some of the same members, was directed to 
report a temporary form of government until the end of the 
next congress. Although Johnston was not a member of the 
new committee, his relations with it were so close that on the 
second day after its appointment he wrote : "Affairs have 
McRee's takcu a turn within a few days past. All ideas of forming 
a permanent constitution are at this time laid aside. It is 
now proposed for the present to establish a council to sit 
constantlv, and county committees to sit at certain fixed 
periods, but nothing is conclutled." Ten days elapsed before 
579 the report of the new committee was considered by the 

The Council house. Thcu. as Johnston had indicated, a Council of Safety 
of Safety ^^.^g appointed to sit from day to day at such places as they 
should think prudent and proper. The Provincial Council 
and the district committees were abolished.'.l, I 

C. R.. X, 

coxsTiTCTioy or couxcii or s.-irrrv- 531 

\s before, the members from each (Ustnct selected two J._ 

members and the congress one. But now Wilhe Jones, a c.^^-. - ■ 
lender amon- those who differed with John.-ton. was selected 
bv the con-ress in his stead. The other changes were: 
Xash Kinchen. Silencer, and x-\very gave place to bimpson, 
Rand. Hezekiah Alexander, and William Sharpe, whde J. J. 
Williams filled the vacancy for Halifax. _ 

Having on Mav uth made this provision tor the admm- 
istration^of provincial att^airs, two days later tlie congress 
adjourned. Although it was a reasonable mterence that ^ 
those who opposed the views of Samuel Johnston were in >--|^,^ 
the majoritv in the b.-dv. vet when it became necessary tor 
him to leave the chair, on May 2d, Allen Jones, also a con- 
servative, was elected vice-president : and on its adjournment 
the conore^^s. in tendering thanks to its president lor his 
faithful'dischar^e of his duties, was particular to add that 
he had "in that, as in all other stations, approved himselt 
the firm and liberal patron of liberty and a wise and zealous 
friend and asserter of the rights of mankind. But when c^^R. x, 
Johnston left the hall it was not to return as a representa- 
tive until the ditterences of that period had taded from 

The first invasion ^^ ^ 

Toward the end of Januarv General Clinton was detached '" 
from the British armv at Boston with a small command to ,^ 

conduct operations elsewhere. When his departure l)ecame 
known General Charles Lee was .lirectcd to repair to New 
York hi^ supposed destination. They arrived at that point 
on the same dav. February 4th. but Clinton openly avowed 
that his expedition was intended for North Carolina. Such 
an avowal was received with doubt. On his sadmg from 
New York, the Continental Congress created the Southern 
Department, assigned the command to General Lee, and on M„oreand 
^larch I St. appointed Moore and Howe brigarlier-generals. ^r"^ ^'s^" 
Lee hastening to \'ireinia reached Williamsburg simultane- with Clintor.-s arrival in the Chesapeake. The British i^ejo.ns 
general lingered with Dunmore until early in April, when he Virginia 
joined Governor Martin below Brunswick : still it was appre- 
hended that the real point of attack would be Virginia, 


U^ aiul Loe remained there a month making preparations tn 

meet it. 

Alreaiiy were there many vessels in the Cape Fear harhor. 
drawn toijether in connection with the intended inva.-iori. 
but week after week passed without the arrival of Sir IVter 

May Parker's fleet bringing^ Cornwallis and his seven reginier.ts 

of regulars. A succession of disastrous storms had delayed 
the vessels. Xor was this the only disappointment of the 
British commander. Instead of the promised support from 
■ the interior, instead of an army of Loyalists ready to co- 
operate, he found a hostile force awaiting him. and that the 
unexpected catastrophe that had befallen McDonald neces- 
sitated an entire change of plans. 

Lee. following Clinton, had himself started southward, 
preceded by General Howe, directing Howe's North Caro- 
linians under Major Patten and ]vfuhlenberg's X'irginia 

c. R., X. regiment to follow. On May 2d Howe reached Halifa.x. 

*^ antl on the floor of the house, pursuant to a resolve of the 

congress, the president returned him thanks for his con- 
duct during the whole of the late dangerous, important, 
and critical campaign, and more especially for the reputation 
the North Carolina troops acquired under his command. 
General Lee was then approaching the border, and Colonel 

«1vJd"at Long was directed to receive him at the boundar\- with a 

Halifax detachment of tro«3ps and escort him to the congress. From 
Halifax the general passetl on to New Bern, making himself 
acquainted with the condition of affairs in the province. 

At length, about May ist, the grand fleet began to arrive 
in the harbor, and all doubt about its destination being now 
removed, Moore despatched the news to the congress at 
Halifax. That body at once ordered all the continental 
battalions to report to General jMoore, and in addition to 
the battalion that had been raised for Colonel Brown, a draft 
of fifteen hundred more militia was made from the eastern 
districts, those from Halifax and Edenton being assigned 

s. R., XI, to the command of Colonel Peter Dauge. No drafts were 
made from the western districts, because of a particular 
purpose of importance at that time, but the western regi- 
ments were to hold themselves in readiness. This doubt- 
less was to have a reserve force near at hand to suppress 

Thr- fleet 


anv further ri.^n- l.y the Tories. The Whigs of North 'ZJ^ 

Carohna now (H.^plaved a glorious ardor, anfl rushed with 
impetuosity to th:e scene of the expected conflict. Soon it p-/^- ^^£-' 
was estimated that the patriot force collected on the Cape xiii 
Fear numbered ninety-four hundred men. all but the con- 
tinentals being under the command, of General Ashe. The May- 
approaches to the town were fortified, and vessels were sunk Pr.fuua- 
in the channel a few miles below to prevent an attack by j.f'nce 
water. Everv ])reparation was made for stubborn resistance. 
It had been announced that the king, ignoring the Con- 
tinental Congress, would send commissioners to treat with 
each province separately, and it was thought that .these 
commissioners might come with the fleet. North Carolina, 
spurning the suggestion that she could be detached from 
the general cause of America, resolved that "if such com- '^^^^^^ 
missioners should arrive in this province, unless with a ^io""- 
commission to treat with the Continental Congress, they 
should be required to return immediately to their vessel ; and 
if at any time thereafter they should be founds on shore they 
should be seized and sent to congress." But these commis- 
sioners did not come with Sir Peter Parker. Later they 
landed at the north after independence was declared, but 
their errand was bootless. 

After full consultation with Governor Martin, and, indeed, 
with Governor Tryon at New York, as to the best course to 
be pursued to detach the people from the revolutionary gov- ^ ^ ^ 
ernment in North Carolina. General Clinton on May 5th 3,. 
issued a proclamation inveighing against the tyranny of the ^unt 
congresses and cominittees and entreating the people to avoid p/°;' 
the miseries attendant on civil war by a return to the bless- 
I ings of a free government. He offered pardon to all who H;-'^j>e«;^^'^*^ 
should submit to the la-vs except alone Cornelius Harnett cer^ed from 

* . • i"^ i A *" 4. * pardon 

and Robert Howe. Howe had given great otlence to Aiartin 
by preparing the address to the king in 1774 and procuring 
it to be sent through Governor Tryon instead of Governor 
jMartin; he had also been among the very first to form com- 
panies and train the people to arms, and had expelled Dun- 
more from the soil of \'irginia as the previous year he had 
assisted in driving Martin from the soil of North Carolina. 
In this last enterprise Harnett also had been a conspicuous 





Th._- badge 
of honor 

Morre and 
Aslie ready 




The burning 
of Orton 

S. R., XI, 
396, 39S 

Hist. North 
Carolin.i, 1 1, 
390. 391 

actor, ami now he was the president of the State wht.-ii 
congress was not in session and at the head of the revohi- 
tionary g-overnment. The exception of these two patriot-, 
from the tenfier of pardon served only as a badge of horv- 
orable distinction, endearing them still more to the patriots 
of X^rth CaroHna. Two days after issuing this proclama- 
tion Clinton landed two regim.ents and made a recon- 
noissance in force into the interior, without, however, bring- 
ing on any engagement. Moore and Ashe held their forces 
well in hand ready for any emergency. Tliey prepared to 
contest any advance Clinton might make: but davs passed 
without any hostile movement. Besides the direct route into 
the interior, there was another, which it was feared the 
British might take, and three hundred and fifty horsemen 
guarded that road to give warning of such a movement and 
to im.pede it should Clinton make the venture. A hundred 
vessels lay at the entrance of the harbor opposite Fort 
Johnston, and a detachment of continentals, a hundred and 
fifty men, under Zvlajor \A'illiam Davis, of the First Bat- 
talion, was stationed near Brunswick to hold marauders in 
check. Their headquarters were established at the mill of 
the Orton plantation, in the vicinity of the town. On Sun- 
day, ^lay I2th. between two and three o'clock, Cornwallis 
hastily threw ashore nine hundred troops, with the purpose 
of surprising and capturing that post. \'igilant sentries, 
however, watched the enemy, and these resolutely opened 
fire, giving the alarm, and Major Davis removed his stores 
and provisions and withdrew his detachment by a timely 
movement. Cornwallis, nevertheless, lost one man killed, 
several wounded, and a sergeant of the Thirty-third Regi- 
ment, who was taken prisoner. Foiled in his purpose, his 
lordship burned the empty mill, and after remaining some 
hours in the village of Elrunswick, he ravaged the neighbor- 
ing plantation of General Howe, carrying ofT some twenty 
bullocks as the reward of his enterprise. Three days later 
five of the British regiments went into quarters at Fort 
Johnston and one on Baldhead, leaving one on board the 
ships. The larger part of the American forces remained 
near W'ihr.ington ready for any movement, while a consider- 
able body was encamped some two or three miles from the 


enemy near Fort John>ton. Thus matters stood Jay after 1^ 

(lay 1 luring- that period of apprehension and anxiety, but 
Clinton made no movement. 

It being known that the Tories had been disarmed, no aid operations 

, . , 111 1 1 ii • iibatidoned 

was expected trom them should a column be thrown mto 
the interior ; and it was apprehended that any attempt at 
subjugation would result in a protracted camjiaign, wdiich 
might not be terminated before the troops would be needed 
for more important movements then in contemplation. And c. r., x, 
in that event the withdrawal of the force, with subjugation 
not completed, would have the appearance of defeat, entail- 
ing worse consequences than would attend making no imme- 
diate eltort to subdue the inhabitants. Influenced by these 
considerations, General Clinton deemed it inadvisable to be- 
gin at that time operations in Xorth Carolina, and deter- 
mined to use the army in connection with the war vessels 
to reduce Charleston. So toward the end of May the iieet j'^-'j^^^^' 
sailed, to anchor oli' that harbor on June 7th. 

Governor Martin accompanied Clinton, but there were left 
on the station several vessels, one of \\hich, the Jcmiy was Thejenr.y 
the abiding place of a considerable number of Tories, who, 
deserting their habitations, had sought protection v.ith the 
fleet. Among these were persons instructed by the gov- 
ernor to maiTitain a correspondence with the Loyalists of 
the interior and give them every possible encouragement 
during his absence. Go\-ernor Martin continued with Gen- f ■ ^.' ^• 
eral Clinton during the siege of Charleston, and accompanied 
him later on his return to the north. 

The Council of Safety 

While the British army was still in the harbor, it was ^;^^- ^' 
considered that the Council of Safety should convene at 
Wilmington, and the members met there on June 5th, and 
Cornelius Harnett was unanimously chosen president.* The 
immediate danger had then passed. But altairs were in a 

*Some writers have erroneously supposed bccau-^e Sam Johnston 
and Willie Jones were chosen to represent the province in the 
Council of Safety that they presided in the council, but not so. 
Harnett was chi,ison to preside over hoth b^^dies. He was president of 
the Sons of Liberty in the six counties of the Cape Fear in 1770, and 
doubtless from their organization in 1765. 

536 77//: COiWCIL OF SAFETY, i;-6 

'Sjl turmoil. TIkto were some outlyiiiin;- malcontents, concernc-l 

in the insurrection, now in the swamps of l^lladen, wh.o sei:; 
information to (ieneral Ashe that they were desirous ..f 
submitting themselves to the council; and it was rcsolvr : 
that they would be allowed to return to their homes on takiii- 

6^8 " ' an oath to fight when called on in the American cause. 

Efforts to inflame the minds of the people in E'lgeconih/ 
and Dobbs were so important that Colonel Sheppard u:i. 
directed to call out as many of the militia as were necessarv 

diL'lurac"' ^° ^^^'^■■'^ ^'!°-'^' ^^'^^'' ^^■'-''"^ endeavoring to dissuade the peof-le 
tion from sustaining the congress ; similar action was taken with 

regard to Johnston County, while in Cumberland two com- 
panies of light horse were placed under the control of 
Colonel Folsome to maintain the authority of the congress. 

The council continued its etTorts to provide munitions of 

war, and also a supply of salt, so absolutely- necessary for 

the soldiers as well as the inhabitants : and an arrangement 

Coal and was made for the use of Wilcox's bloomerv and for(~^e on 

iron on ■!->, ^. . - - & 

Deep River L'ecp Kiver. somc thirty nules south of Hillsboro, where 
good iron was produced from ore beds. The presence of 
coal in the immediate vicinity and the great profusion of nat- 
ural supplies led the commissioners to report : "Upon the 
whole, nature has poured out with a bountiful hand on that 

c.^R., X, part of our country everything necessary for the establish- 
ment of an extensive iron manufactory."' 
,, ,, The brig FeunsylToiia T'aniicr, w hich had been equipped 

under the orders of congress, lay then at New Bern, and the 

Armed couucil (hVectcd that she should' be armed with eight of the 

vesseisfitted canuon lately imported; and Richard Ellis, of New Bern, 
applied for letters of marque and reprisal for his armed 
sloop, the Heart of Oak. of seventy tons burden ; and George 
Dennison, the captain of the vessel, was given letters per- 
mitting him to act against the enemies of the thirteen united 
colonies ; and Edward Tinker, captain of the armed schooner 
Johnston, belonging to John Green and others, of Xew Bern, 
was also given letters of marque. Vessels were constantly 
arriving through Ocracoke witli arms and munitions,, one, 
the Liltle Tliojuas, having brouglit in twenty pieces of 

Several of the prisoners who had been sent to Philadelphia 



Dr. Pyle 

ami \'irg^ini:i having- made their escape ami returned to 
their homes, now bc,<j:an usine: their utmost influence to infect £■ R- ^ 
others with their Tory principles ; amonq- them were 
Dr. Pvie and his John. Colonel Folsome. in command 
in Cumberland, was directed to marcli with a party of horse, 
with th.e utmost secrecy, and to arrest them again. Th.ere 
were many other evidences of disaffection, and to counter- 
act those intluences required prompt action on the part of 
the busy members of the council, who were under a great 
strain because of the public atTairs, much being of a delicate 
nature, that pressed upon them. 

The attack on Fort Moultrie 

On the iieparture of the fleet from the Cape Fear, Lee .^^ 
hastened to Charleston, accompanied by Howe, where he 
arrived early in June. Moore remained at Wilmington, but 
two continental regiments under Xash and Martin reached Carolina 
Charleston on June nth. followed later by the \'irginia regi- J''^'"^"^''-^ 
ment and the Third and Fouth Continentals, not then needed ^»^^^i"'°" 
at Cape Fear. A rifle regiment raised at the west lii<ewise 
repaired to Charleston. Felix Walker, afterward long a 
memlier of congress from the Buncombe district, says in his 
"Autobiography": 'T was appointed lieutenant in Captain 
Richardson's company in the rifle regiment. I returned to 
Watauga and recruited my full proportion of men and 
marched them to Charleston in May, 1776. joined the regi- 
ment, and was stationed on James Island." 

When the fleet dropped anchor off the bar the Charles- 
tonians barricaded their streets and prepared to defend the 
wharves of the city, and soon troops were stationed on the 
outlying islands enclosing the harbor. Colonel Moultrie be- 
gan working night and day constructing a fort on the end Fort 
of Sullivan's Island by bolting palmetto logs together for be'i^u""' 
walls, with sixteen feet of sand between them. Week after 
week passed and no attack was made, so that toward the 
end of June the front of his fort was well finished and thirty 
odd guns were mounted in it. But powder was scarce, and 
there were hardly twenty-five rounds of ammunition for the 
guns. On the north.east of that island lay Long Island, a 
naked sand bank, and there Clinton landed more than three 





• ■ 'f 

Tune 2o(h, 
Battle of 

A glorious 

C. R., X, 


Conduct of 
the North 

thousauvl troo[)S, intcndinj,^ to cross the narrow interveniu!^^ 
waters and thus g-ain possession of SulHvan Island. To re- 
sist his advance Colonel Thomi)son. of South Carolina, was 
stationed at that end of Sullivan's Island with three liun- 
(Ired of his own ritlemen, two hundred of Clark's North 
Carolina regiment, two hundred more South Carolinians 
under Horry, and with some light pieces on his tlank ; while 
Nash, for whom Lee had conceived a high opinion, was 
placed to defend the rear of the fort, which was unfinished, 
and a post of great consequence. 

After much fortunate delay, in the early morning of 
June 28th the fleet approached the fort and the battle be- 
gan. The British bmught into action ten times the number 
of guns that Moultrie could use, but made no impression 
on the palmetto fort. A flag of blue with a white crescent 
emblazoned with the word "Liberty" proudly floated over 
the rampart. In the torrent of balls the staff that bore it 
was severed, but as it fell Sergeant Jasper heroically seized 
the standard and again raised it on the bastion next to the 
enemy. The attempt to pass from Long Island was no more 
successful than the attack on the water. The brave Ameri- 
cans drove the infantry back on two occasions, and the 
assault both on land and sea was a signal failure. The slow 
and skilful fire of Moultrie drove oft the fleet and destroyed 
several frigates, the Bristol losing 40 men killed and 
71 wounded and the Expcriinoit 23 killed and 56 wounded; 
while the American loss, after ten hours of incessant conflict, 
was but 1 1 killed and 26 wounded. Repulsed, defeated, the 
army re-embarked on the vessels and the contest was over. A 
more glorious victory was hardly ever won, and the tidings 
flew from colony to colony, reaching Philadelphia just after 
the deputies in congress had signed the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, and causing great joy throughout America. 

\\ hile Moultrie's gunners were heroes the infantry like- 
wise won great applause. Of the gallant conduct of Clark's 
North Carolinians, Lee expressed himself in the highest 
terms, saying: 'T know not which corps I have the greatest 
reason to be pleased with, Muhlenberg's A'irginians or the 
North Carolina troops ; they are both equally alert, zealous, 
and spirited." Twice the enemy attempted to land, "and 



Tories dis- 


twice thev wore repulsed by a Colonel Thompson, of the 
South Carolina rangers, in conjunction with a body of North 
Carolina reundars. Upon the whole, the South and North 
Carolina troops and the \'irginla rifle battalion we have here 
are admirable soldiers." 

The Council of Safety hatl directed the county comnuttccs 
to call on every person suspected of Toryism to render an m- 
ventorv of his'estate, and in case of neglect, the commanding 
officer of the county was ordered to bring the suspected per- 
son before the board. This order, contemporaneous with the 
glorious news of the repulse of General Clinton at Charles- 
ton, which created wild enthusiasm among the Whigs, caused 
a great commotion among the Loyalists, and they flocked m ^^ j^^ ^ 
to sign the test and association. 

After the repulse of the British fleet by Fort Moultrie, 
General Clinton still lingered at Charleston, threatening 
Savannah, and it was apprehentled he might yet return to 
the original plan of subjugating North Carolina. Toward 
the etui of July, however, he abandoned his design against 
the southern colonies and sailed northward. When this be- 
came known, early in August, General Ashe discharged the 
militia brigade from the districts of New Bern, Halifax, and 
Edenton. reserving only a part of the Wilmington brigade in 
. active service. A British force of fifteen vessels still occu- 
' pied the lower harbor and held Baldhead. remaining there 
all summer, watched, however, by General Moore and by the 
continentals and the militia remaining in the service. Hardly 
had Clinton departed before General Lee began to organize 
an expedition into Florida, being accompanied by General 
Howe, the \'irginia regiment, the Third North Carolina 
Continentals, and some companies of the First and Second 
regiments. But in September, having been ordered north. 
General Lee departed, leaving Howe in command. The 
troops in lower Georgia suffering much from sickness, four- 
teen or fifteen men dying every day, Howe thought it best 
to relinquish the enterprise, and returned to Charleston. 
During the fall the other continental regiments were held 
bv General :\Ioore on the North Carolina coast, and efforts 
were made to complete the organization. 

C. R., X, 



Independence declared. — Lee's resolution. — The declaration. — 
The North Carolina deputies. — The declaration proclaimed. — T!u- 
address of the council. — Relicfious teachings in Anson. — James Hun- 
ter a patriot. — The Indians hostile. — Rutherford crosses the moun- 
tains. — Washington district annexed. — The movement against tliL- 
Indian-;. — Rutherford successful. — The Surry regiment. — Moore's 
expedition. — The Tories active. — Salt-making. — The British abandon 
Cape Fear. — A winter campaign threatened. 

Independence declared 

776 Some three weeks after X^orth Carolina had instrttcted 

her deputies to concttr in declaring' independence the \'ir- 
ginia convention met, and on 'Sls.y 15th adopted a resolution 
directing her depttties to propose independence. On the 
same day Boston and a majority oi the other towns in 
^Massachusetts, in their town meetings, instructed their local 

May 37th, representatives to the same ettect. On Mav 27th Joseph 

ri.e .North ...-' , , ,,,,-,,. , ' . -^ , 

c.iroii.ia Hewes. then the only Xorth Carohna deputy in attendance 
p.elented ou the Continental Congress, presented the X'orth Carolina 
resolution, and immediately the \'irginia instructions were 
also presented. These resolves and the action of the Con- 
tinental Congress on May 15th. declaring that it was irrecon- 
cilable with good conscience for the people to take oaths 
to support government tinder the Crown, and that the powers 
of government should be exerted under the authority of the 
people, brought the subject f independence sharply to the 
attention of the other colonics, and the leaven had begun 
to work. Yet nearly two weeks elapsed before there was 
jimeytii, auy movemeut. Then, on June 7th, Richard Henry Lee 
offered in congress a resolution "'That these united colonies* 
are and of right ought to be free and independent States. ' 

*The expression "hath, and of right ought to have." the original 
of this phrase, i- found in the reply which the English Common - 
made to James I when he cimmumcated his unsatisfactory 
an-;wer to their "Remonstrance de droit." Rushworth was studied 
b> the American leaders for precedents. 


^ ^■ 



.V-J y/ix Si* ;.. fiC- i '■ 

' ..../AaiiiAkikii^" 

1. 3A\urEi. Johnston 
3. John Fenn 

2. William Hooper 

4. JdSEFM! Heuks 


This resolution, so fraught witli momentous consequences, ^ 

was not considered that day ; but. postponed until the next 
morninir. it was debated until the loth. Hewes, speakins: for J"'ie ir,,h, 
North Carohna. was unalterably fixed and urgent in favor HUt. u. s.. 
of immediate action. "'^^ 

A bare majority of the colonies favored Lee's resolution. 
New York. Xew Jersey, Pennsylvania. Delaware. Mary- 
land, and South Carolina were not prepared to support it, 
and its further consideration was. by a vote of 7 to 5, 
postponed until July ist. Hewes casting the vote of North 
Carolitia against the postponement. By that date it was 
hoped that new instructions might be received from the 
provinces that still held back. To lose no time, a committee jeffersoirj 
was appointed to prepare a declaration of independence, rt°slf.' ' '" 
and another committee was directed to draft a plan of con- 
federation, Hewes being a member of the latter. 

Seventeen days slowly passed, and then, on June 28th. a 
draught of the Declaration vas reported to the house, where 
it lay on the table awaiting the decision on Lee's resolution. 
At length July ist arrived, and that resolution v.'as again J"iy "t, 
taken up for consideration. ^Maryland and Xew Jersey had resolution 
in the meanwhile given in tlieir adherence. From Delaware 
only two members were present, and they divided, so the 
voice of that colony coidd not be recorded. The delegates 
from Xew York, having no instructions, asked leave to 
retire. Pennsylvania and -South Carolina alone voted in the - 
negative. At the request of Rutledge. of South Carolina, 
hoping for unanimity, the decision was postponed until the 
next day. 

When the congress met the following morning a third 
member had arrived from Delaware, casting the vote of that imiep^e.ui- 
province for the resolution; changes had been made in the |^jj« ^g'"'^^" 
Pennsylvania delegation with a like residt. and the South 
Carolina delegates no longer withheld their assent. Xew 
York still preferred to remain silent awaiting instructions, 
which, however, were freely given on the 0th of that niiinth. 

Thus on July 2d was finally determined, by virtually the 
unanimous voice of all the colonies, the great question which 
X^orth Carolina had proposed on April 12th. At that time 
Penn, who had left Philadelphia early m April, had returnerl, 

542 lyDnrnXDESCE, r;;6 

1^ and voted with Hewes for independence, but Hooper was 

still detained in North Carolina. 

The declaration 

Thn/.N' Jt-ffcrson s drauglu of a Declaration, which had lain on the 

table since June 28th, awaiting- the vote on Lee's resolution, 
was now taken up for chscussion. Every word of it was duly 
weighed, and the instrument was perfected. Durin;^ 
July 2<.\, 3d. and until the afternoon of the 4th. the con- 
sideration of the Declaration continued, and then the instru- 
ment was agreed to. \'ery considerable changes. were made 

ci.angesin in the draught reijorted bv the committee, among them beins;: 

Jettersuii s , . ..." . '^ '"' 

draught the mcorporation mto the text ot the words used bv Lee 
that the united colonies "are, and of right ought to be, free 
and independent States." 

The North Carolina delegates 

As this glorious consummation was at the instance of 
North Carolina, and was accomplislied measurably through 
the cordial and zealous support of her delegation, so there 
\yas no time when her delegates were not fixed and forward 
in the important work of the Continental Congress. Caswell 
had been the soul of energy, and gained for himself the 
high opinirjn of the body. Penn, who succeeded him, was 
equally active and zealous. Hooper hatl long since cast his 
Hooper's philosophic eye to the future, and behehl America "fast 
striding to independence." His sympathies, his sentiments, 
and his talents fdaced him in the front rank of its influential 
members. In April he gladly announce 1 that he had found 
the people of \'irginia desirous of independence, and that 
North Carolina far exceeded X'irginia ; that in many counties 
there was no dissenting voice — a concHrion and situation so 
harmonious with his own personal \iews that he hastened 
to send the information back to Philadelphia, wliere it was 

Hewes differed from his colleagues in being a trained 
business man and not having followed a professi'>nal career. 
Yet he had been longer engaged in public affairs than either 
of his associates, and for vears had been one of those who 



had ^iven direction to political events in North Carolina. tlj, 

Thorouf^hlv acquainted with commerce, connected with a 
mercant'ile' house at Philadelphia, as at Edenton. familiar 
with affairs of the seas, he was early assigned to the 
^[arine Committee, of which he became the principal mem- 
ber, discharging,- practically the duties of a secretary of the 
navy ; and his mercantile houses rendered ethcient aid. not 
merely in the course of ordinary business but in making 
advances for the benefit of congress. His spirit was such Heu«;s^^ 
that he wanted to take the field, to be in camp, but his work 
in congress was too important for him to use the good 
musket* and bayonet with which he had provided himself. 
Four days after the Declaration was signed he wrote : -What 
has become of my friend Hooper? I expected to have seen 
him ere now. My friend Tenn came time enough to give 
his vote for independence. I send you the Declaration of 
Independence enclosed. I had the weight of North Caro- 
lina on my shoulders within a day or two of three months. 
The service was toc< severe. I have sat some days from six 
in the morning till five or sometimes six in the afternoon 
without eating or drinking. Some of my friends thought 
that I shouM n^.t Ijc able to keep soul and body together to 
this time. Duty, inclination, and self-preservation call on ,; 

me now to make a little excursion into the country to see 
■ mv mother. This is a duty which I have not allowed myself 
time to perform during the almost nine months I have 
been here." And indeed it was time, for this devoted patriot ; 

had exhausted his strength and prepared the way for his 
earlv grave. 

On March 2S, 1813. John Adams in the course of a letter aJ^^_:"^>" 
drew a picture in which Hewes was presented as changing 
his attitude toward independence. That, as related, was 
evidently founded on imagination, tinted ])y the passage 
of manv years. The circumstances seem to show that the 
portrayariacked realitv. The matter of independence was 
not brought positively before congress until May 27th, and 
then by Hewes presenting the instructions of North Carolina 
to concur in declaring independence; and North Carolina, 
represented alone by him, consistently voted for indepen- 

4Q4, 4^)!^ 

544 IXnnFP.XDEXCB, 1776 

2'^ dence from the time the subject was first introduced into 


Thedei.iyin Proi)abIv whcn Hewes broke the monotony of cons^res? 
oiigress ^^^ presentine: the instructions of Xorth Carohna, there was 
a great and starthng sensation, for congress was by no means 
' "' prepared to act on the measure. Later in the day the Vir- 

ginia instruction was hkewise presented ; but so out of 
harmony was it with th.e prevaiHng sentiment that ten days 
elapsed before the X'irginia delegates found resolution to 
obev their instruction ; and then, against the voice of Hewes. 
th.e matter wa'^ again deferred for three weeks longer. 

c. R.. X, It ap[>ears that as earl}' as ^Nlarch ist. Hocper. Hewes. 

and Penn wrote to the Provincial Congress asking in- 
structions with respect to entering into foreign alliances. 
and it does not appear that any other delegates had at that 
time made a similar application. They seem to have been 
the first to move the waters. Their application on thi= 
subject utterly negatives Mr. Jefferson's aspersion, made in 
his old age, "that we had not a greater Tory in congress 
than Hooper." Mr. Jetlerson imputed to Mr. Adams a 
failure of memory, and confessed that his own was not to 
be relied on. In this doubt of his own accuracy he evidently 
was entirely correct. 

^Ir. Hooper proposed in the Provincial Congress of 
August. 1775, the articles of confederation, and. being over- 

IV, 316 borne, in the Continental Congress, contrary to his own 

wishes, obeyed the instructions of Xorth Carolina. That 

■'■'■- he favored independence in April, 1776, is evident. Writing 

to Johnston six months later, when attairs were very gloomy. 

he expresses the feelings of his inmost heart: "The successes 

'■'■'•• '• of Howe have given a strange spring to Toryism. ^len 

who have hitherto lurked in silence or neutrality seem will- 

^ : ing to take a side in opposition to the liberties of their 

Jones's countrv. . . . Were I to choose a motto for a modern Whig 

Uefence, - 

325,326 it shoul'I be. 'Whatever is, is right, and on the reverse. 
Wil despt-randiiin.' " Such Hooper's spirit, to sustain 
all measures, to be steadfast in hope and constant in ettort. 

■•"Adams must have had in mind Rutlcdge, of South Carolina, who 
changed on July 2d. deciding the measure, to the dismay of those 
members who stili feared to take this tinal step. 

Hist. U. S 


In rhe coui^fress he. with Fraiikhn, Morris and Lee, formed 'JJ^ 

tlie Secret Coniniittee of Forei.sjn Intercourse elected by tlie 
surfrac,''es of the nienihers. Xo his/her testimonial of implicit 
conhdcnce was a horded to any of his associates. 

The declaration proclaimed 

The council had thought it best to hold sessions at differ- in North 
cut points in the pnjvince and from Wilmington it removed 
to Dobbs County, and then proceetled to Halifax, ojiening 
its session there on July 21st. And now came the joyful 
news that independence had been declared, and the colonies 
were free and independent states. The day following, its 
meeting, a copy of the Declaration of Independence was fiJ^^s^' 
received, and the council directed that it should be read on 
August 1st in tlie town of Halifax, and that it shouM be 
proclaimed by the committees of every town and county in 
the most public manner. 

When Thurs lay. August ist. came, an immense concourse August ist 
of people as5emble<l at Halifax to witness the ceremony of a 
public proclamation of independence. The militia com- 
panies of the county were all drawn up in full arrav. At 
midday Cornelius Harnett, the president of the Council of 
Safety, ascend.ed a rostrum erected in front of the court- LM-ence, 
house, and the enthusiasm of the vast crowd was mani- -'''* 
fested with tremendous rejoicing. Harnett, who had ever 
been the foremost in leading the way to indepen- 
dence, now "read the declaration to the mute and impas- 
sioned multitude with a si lemnity of an appeal to heaven. 
When he had finished all the people shouted with jov. and 
cannon after cannon . . . j)roclaimed the glorious tidings 
that the thirteen cjlonies were now free and independent 
states. The soldiers seized Harnett and bore him on their 
shoulders through the .streets of the town, applauding him as 
their champion, and swearing allegiance to the instrument 
he had read." 

In Cumberland County the menibers of the Committee of August 
Safety had either retired from the province or had resigned 
and refused to act. In that county alone the order to read 
the declaration appears not to have been observed, so that 
on August 6th the Council of Safetv directed Colonel Fol- 

546 IXDEPEXDEXCE, 177^^ 

'776 some or Colonel David Smith to call a general mectin- 

^^ of the inhabitants of Cumberland and proclaim the declara- 

C. R., X, tion to the people and to the regiment stationed at Cross Creek. 
694 Elsewhere independence was proclaimed with great dem- 

onstrations of joy. As Xorth Carolina had been the tlr-t 
colonv to propose it. the people now hailed it with gladnes.. 
It was the consummation of their earnest desire; and ii 
imparted to the contest a new character. The leaders well 
knew that they had burned their bridges behind them: aii.i 
the people, animated by a great hope, and determined to U- 
free, with unboun.led entlmsiasm threw tlie banner of inde- 
pendence to the breeze. 
..,, ,:, . Because the province was now declared a free and mde- 

'!' ' pendent State, the test prescribed by the congress in August. 

1775. was changed by omitting the profession of allegiance; 
and the oath to be taken by witnesses was amended so a-^ 
to read, -Between the independent State of Xorth Carolina 
and the prisoner to be tried." The council also issued an 
7°4 ■' ' address to the inhabitants, saying that as the congress had 
declared the thirteen united colonies free and independent 
,v,, J states, -it be recommended to the good people of this now 
^. ;,' ' independent State of Xorth Carolina to pay the greatest at- 
» •. ., tention to the election ... of delegates to represent them 

in congress, and to have particularly in view this important 
consideration." Xot only were laws to be made, but a con- 
l stitution, the cornerstone of all law, and '"according as it is 

c R., X, well or ill ordered, it must tend in the f^rst degree to pro- 
^9^ ' ^ ' mote the happiness or misery of the State." 
•f>„v. The council had been sorely tried by the disaffection ot 

the Re<-ulators, who continued to regard themselves as a 
separate people not allied with their fellow-citizens. Now 
in \nson Countv this defection took a novel form. James 
Child^. a preacher of the New Light Baptist persuasi.^n 
clothed his dislovaltv in the garb of religion. He declared 
^^■''^' that it was one of the tenets of his church not to bear arms, 
either offensivelv or defensively ; and he preached this doc- 
trine in all the churches of his communion, and_ inculcated it 
bv the terrors of excommunication ; and he refused to take 
an oath of allegiance to the State. Arrested in Anson and 
sent to the council, he stood firmly by his doctrine. There- 


upon the council resolved that he must be considered as an ^ 

enemy to the State, and he was sent to Edenton on his parole. 

In view of such religious teachings, General Person and 
Joseph John Williams were directed, each of them, to agree 
with a proper person to go among the inhal)itants of Anson 
and other western parts of the State and instruct them "in 
their duty to Almighty God. and explain to them the justice 
and necessity of the measures pursued by the United States 
as the only means under God of supporting and maintaining 
our civil and religious liberties." The remedy, however, 
was not entirely efficacious. In October James Perry, one 
of the same persuasion, having great influence among the 
people, from being a preacher, had likewise to be arrested 
in the same county and conveyed to Flalifax. 

But while the council was in session at Salisbury earlv in Jf"^f 

riuiiter a 

September a favorable change was observed, and James ^■"^•'^^ 

Hunter and Joseph Dobson made their appearance, and 795, 797.836 

asked the "privileges of free citizens." declaring that they 

were willing to take an oath of allegiance to the State, and 

the council resolved that they should be considered as '"free 

citizens and menibers of this State." So also Booth Boote, 

wdio, with John Dunn, had been paroled to Salisbury, having 

taken the oath, was ailmitted to citizenship ; and later Dr. 

John Pyle and other prominent malcontents took the oath 

of allegiance, among them Rev. George IMicklejohn, who had 

been paroled to Perquimans. Other action was constantly 

taken in the way of arresting and putting under bond or 

confining Tories or having them released from durance on 

their submission to the state authorities. 

The Indians become hostile 

Governor Alartin's plan for the subjugation of North 
Carolina contemplated aid from the Indians, and John Stuart, 
the Indian superintendent, spent several months in the 
spring of 1776 with the governor awaiting the arrival of 
General Clinton's troops. As yet he had had no instructions 
to employ the Indians on the frontier, but he was keeping 
tliem in readiness to act when required. Later he departed 
for F^ensacola to be in close communication with them ; and 
amngements were in progress for all the tribes from the 

ixnnpnxDExcn, 1—6 


The Indians 
in arms 

C. R., X, 

657 it Sti]. 

S. R., XI, 


They cross 



C. R.. X, 

662, 66g 

The massa- 
cre on the 

July lo-ii 

(.)hio to Alnbama ro begin hostilities against the western 

Toward the end of Jvuie fifteen Shawnees, Dela wares, aii'i 
Mingoes brought the war belt to the Cherokees, and it w;'.s 
received by the young men against the wishes of the older 
chiefs. Before measures had been fully arranged, bands of 
Cherokees, inflamed by the encroaciiments of the whites on 
the Holstein and Xolachucky, and eager for spoils, began 
their forays. 

While the council was still at Halifax this proposed in- 
cursion of the Indians became known. In the first week in 
July the Cherokees had fallen on the inhabitants in Soutli 
Carolina, plundered houses, killed some settlers and carried 
oft several prisoners. Others attacked the forts on the 
Holstein and Watauga. Most of the settlers, however, 
escaped, having been warned by Nancy Ward, from Echota, 
she being the '"beloved woman" of that Indian capital, and 
always, like her kinsman. Attakullakulla (the Little Car- 
penter), friendly to the whites. Some twenty women and 
children were victims of the tomahawk. Only Mrs. Bean, 
perhaps the wife of William Bean, the first white man to 
erect a cabin in that wilderness, and a boy named Moore 
were taken alive. The latter was burned at the stake, and 
Mrs. Bean was also bound to the stake ready for the burning 
when Xancy Ward interfered and saved her life. Unsuc- 
cessful in their assault on the forts, the Indian warriors 
crossed the mountains and fell on the imsuspecting families 
on Crooked Creek (near Rutherfordton). and, coming up 
the Toe, invaded the frontier of Rowan. The unheralded 
appearance of these murderous bands caused great conster- 
nation. On July T2th Rutherford wrote to the council that 
he had received an express the week before that forty 
Indians were ravaging Crooked Creek, and that appeals were 
made to him for relief. He pleaded for expedition. Before 
twenty-four hours had elapsed he despatched another ex- 
press that the Inrlians were making great progress in de- 
stroying and murdering in Rowan. "Thirty-seven persons." 
he said, "were killed last Wednesday and Thursday on the 
Catawba." and "I am also informed that CoLmel McDowell 
and ten men more and one hundred and twentv women and 


cliiUircn arc besieg'ed in some kind of a fort, and the Indians ^ 

ar.,nind them: no help to them before yesterda}', and they J"'y 
UL-re surrnunded on A\'ednesday. I expect the next account 
to hear is that they are all destroyed. . . . Three of our 
captains are killed and one wounded. This day I set out 
with what men I can rai^^c for the relief of the district." 
"Pray, gentlemen, consider our distress; send us plenty of 
pi.nvder. and I hope under God we of Salisl)ury district are 
able to stand them." 

Rutherford acted with that enerq-v that ever distinrruished i^'i'i'erfnrd 
him. Within a week he was on the frontier with near n-.ouiuains 
twenty-five hundred men, for the western Carolinians had 
sprung: to arms at the first call, animated by a consuming 
purpose to inflict heavy punishment upon their murderous 
foe. Amonc:: those with him were Colonel Adam Alexander 
and the Mecklenburg- reg-iment. protecting the settlers on the 
Catawba. Leaving the main bodv at Old Fort, then called -"^R-. xi, 
Davidson's, on July 29th. with a detachment of five hundred 
men Rutherford crossed the mountains and dislodged some 
two hundred braves, who had established themselves on the 

On "August 13th the council adjourned to meet at the "^vashington 
house of yir. Joel Lane, in Wake Countv, where it con- annexed 

' - . * C R X 

vened on the 21st. Cornelius Harnett being absent with yJi, 702-711 
leave. Samuel Ashe was unanimously chosen president. A 
petition was received from the settlements on the Watauga 
and Holstein. called by the inhabitants there "the Washing- 
ton district." setting forth that about six years earlier they 
had begun to locate in that territory, and finding themselves 
outside of \'irginia, had formed a court and adopted the 
A'irginia laws, and had enlistefl a company of riflemen under 
Captain James Robertson, stationing them on the frontier 
to guard against an attack by the Indians. They asked that 
they might be annexed to Xorth Carolina, promising to be 
governed by the council and to lack nothing in the glorious 
cause of America. This petition was signed by John Carter, 
John Se\ier. William Bean and others as a committee, and 
to it were attached more than a hundred names of settlers 
on the Watauga and Xolachucky, among them being David 
Crockett. The council directed that thev should hold an 

550 IXDErEXDE.XCn, 1776 

^2''t election on (October 15th and choose five dcle.f;atcs to rcpr.-- 

sent Washincrton district in the congress of the Statv. ti 
meer at Halifax on November loth. 

T'le President Rutledsje. of South CaroHna. had earlier <\v- 

iTT'vement . -^ -"^ 

acainst the jrestcd a joint movement on tiie part of \ ir,q:inia and North and 
South Carolina ag"ainst the Indians. Fie proposed to scuii 
\._ ; Major Williamson with eleven hundred men ag^ainst the lowir 

Cherokees. and that a 'force from North Carolina should 
attack the ^Middle towns, and. joiniuGf Williamson, should 
proceed against \'alle_v River and the Hiwassee, while tlv 
Virginians should come down the Holstein and attack the 
Colonel Over-hiil tov/ns. The council agreed to this proposition, and 
on'tile'"" directed the militia from the Hillsljoro district and from 
ostein Stirry County to join Rutherford, while a regiment of three 
rvc-v- hundred men under Colonel Joe \\'illiams was to cross the 

mountains and join Colonel Christian anrl his \'irginian3 
c. R., X. at Big Island, on the Holstein. On August 23d General 
\ Person was despatched to Rutherford's camp with par- 

ticular directions, and on September ist Rutherford, with a 
Rifrhe^-'' great cavalcade ot horses bearing his provisions and ammu- 
fords march r^ij-JQ^, entered Swannanoa Gap and pressed forward. He 
; took with him two thousand privates and eighty light horse. 

),,> \\\\\\ supplies for forty days carried by fourteen hundred 

pack horses. To defend the frontier in his absence, he 
^; ordered three captains with a hundred anrl thirty men to 

- range in Tryon, one hundred and seventy-five "in Rowan. 

\ _ and a hundred in Surry, that then extended to the In'lian 

V. . ■: , line in the mountains. Among those accompan}"ing the 
i expedition were Colonel Martin Armstrong, Colonel Adam 

Alexander. Captain Benjamin Cleveland, William Leimir. 
and William Gray. The Orange regiment, under Colonel 
Joseph Taylor, had reached his camp, but its assistance not 
being necled. it returned home. 
Bioe. Hist. Ruth-erford's course lay down the Svv-annanoa and French 
384 ' ' Broad and up Hominy Creek to Pigeon River, then to Rich- 
land Creek, and over the dividing ridge to the head of Scott's 
Creek, which he followed to the Tuckaseegee. He moved 
with such rapidity and secrecy that he passed fifty miles 
into the wilderness without being discovered by the Indians. 
The journey through the mountains was an arduous and 



.lit'ticult pcrfornKincc. Without a road and sometime? with- 
out even an Indian trail, he led his armx" over tremendous •September 
mountains and across rapid streams,, pursuinn; his wav iti 
momentary dang'er of ambuscade by his wily foe. I'ut so 
sagacious were his movements that he had penetrated two- 
thfrds of th:C distance into the forests without interruption. 
.\t length, when only thirty miles from the :\Iiddle Settle- 
ments on the Tuckaseegee.'he detached a thousand men to 
surprise the Indians by a forced march. Soon, however, in c. r..x. 
their quiet but rapid journey, they came upon some thirty °° 
of the savages, who disputed their progress, and sent m- 
formation to the settlement, which thus was evacuated when 
Rutherford reached it. Inmiediately he began the work of l:;^;^^^^^ 
destruction, and speedily devastatetl the fields and burned destroyed 
every house. Then, with a detachment of nine hundred 
men' and ten davs' provisions, he hurried along tlie Little ;. 

Tennessee and moved on towards X'alley River and the 

Williamson was to have met him at Cowee, but after 
devastating the Indian towns at the foothills, the South 
Carolinians were detained, and Rutherford proceeded alone. , :' ■ 
Missing the usual trail through Waya Gap. he crossed '■ '■ : -. 
the Xantahala at an unaccustomed place. Five hundred 
braves lav in ambush at Waya. hoping to destroy his force 
as twentv vcars before they had Montgomery's. While they c. r., x, 
awaited his coming. Rutherford, pressing on, reached the ' "' ^''^ 
head waters of X'alley River. Every town on that stream 
was destroved in turn, and it was as if a besom of destruc- 
tion had swept over those settlements, so sudden and rapid . 
were his movements. He had the good fortune to avoid 
a pitche<l battle, killed but twelve Indians, and captured 
nine. He also took seven white men. with whom he got 
four negroes, much leather, about a hundredweight of gun- 
powder and a ton of lead, which they were conveying to 
Mobile. His own loss was liut three men. 

While in the midst of this devastation they encamped, on Hunter's 
Simdav, September 15th. at Xuckesseytown (doubtless '^;,X" 
Tuckaseegee). and there, after a sermon bv Rev. Mr. James fj^,'"""-^- 
Hall, they buried one of Captain Irwin's men with due 
solemnitv' A fortnigT.t after Rutherfo'-d had begun his 


^ marcli the Council of Safety, which had adjourned to Sails- 

bury to be in jiriixiniity to the scene of operations, despatciied 
Colonel W'aightstill .\very. with an escort, witii dircciio.ts 
to the general to send, if possible, a detachment Im atcC 
Colonel Christian against the Over-hill towns, and on his 
return to cut a road through the mountanis for future iiso- 
A juncture was made by Colonel Williamson on Septt ;r, 
ber 26th on the Hiwassee; but then Rutherford's work !i;i i 
been thoroughly done, and the \'alley Settlement had been 
' c. R.. X, obliterated,. It was deemed impracticaljle to cross lln; 
Smokies and a>sist Colonel Christian, and they turned their 
faces homeward. The Indians, driven from their vallc\-. 
' ■ ■'■ - homeless refugees without food or raiment, sought the dark 
recesses of the Xantahala, some tleeing to the Over hills, but 
the greater number finding a temporar}- home with the 
"''• ■ Creeks on the Coosawatchee River. Others made their 
"• ' ■' ' '■ pahiful way to their British allies in Florida, where five 
' '. • hundred of them -were received and supplied with food rlnr- 

■'•'*"' ing that winter. Rutherford on his return marked his road 

''■ ^ ' through th.e mountains, which has since been known a- 

-■ ' ' ■■■"■ Rutherford's Trace. Within a month from his departure he 
.„, ,.., returned to Old Fort, reaching Salisburv earlv in October. 

•'■'> The Surry regiment 

■■ , /" Beyond the mountains the Surry regiment, under Colonel 

^] ' ' ' Joseph Williams. Colonel Love and Major Winston, havini: 
joined Colonel Christian, moved cautiously almig the gre;U 
Indian warpath until the Little Tennessee was reached. 
c. R . X. where town after town was destroyed. So swift had been 
8^.844,892. ^]^^, action that the Indians, unable to resist, soon sought 
terms of peace. Some of the Indian head men came ini" 
camp, agreed to surrentler all prisoners and to cede to tlic 
whites all the territory occupied in the Tennessee settle- 
ments. On their solemn promise that such a treaty should 
be made. Christian agreed to suspend hostilities. An excep- 
tion was made, however, as to two towns which had been 
concerned in burning the ^Moore boy, but the peace town 
of Fchota was not disturlied. Colonel Williams was n')t 
pleased with Colonel Christian's action, attributing his 


leniency to ihe Cherokees to a settled policy on the part ^ 

of X'irginia to absorb their trade; and he recommended to 

the council that as the frontiers of North Carolin.a were 

inhabited far beyond the colony line, commissioners should 

he appointed to run the line farther west. B\- treaties soon The Indian 

afterward mad.e the lower Cherokees surrendered all their '^=-^'"" 

territory in South Carolina except a narrow strip, and the 

middle and upper Cherokees ceded all their possessions east 

of the Blue Ridge, together with the disputed territory on 

the Xolachucky, Watauga, and New rivers. 

After reaching Old Fort, General Rutherford, to destroy Moore's 
some towns not on his route, and perhaps to aid Colonel c''Ri"x," 
Christian, directed Captain William Moore and Captain ^''s--^^ 
Harden, with the light horse of Tryon County, a hundred 
in number, to return to the Indian country. Leaving 
Cathey's fort on C^ctober 29th, they penetrated to the towns 
on Cowee Alountain. A detachment, pursuing the fleeing 
Indians to Soco Creek, "crossed prodigious mountains, which 
were almost impassable, experiencing there a severe shock 
of an earthquake, reached Richland Creek Mountains, and 
then returned to Pigeon River." 

The Tories active 

Tory emissaries during the summer, and especially in c. r., x, 
August, were active, and seem to have expected that they '''^' ^''^' ''^* 
would be joined by a great number of Indian allies. Ruther- 
ford could not take the second battalion from Rowan, "the 
current of Tories running strong in Guilford and Anson"' ; 
and Colonel Folsome wrote: "It is most certain they wish 
for nothing more . . . than an opportunity of making a 
head. . . . numbers would fly to join the Indians, as it is 
their professed declaration'' : while in Bladen, there were a 
number of deserters from the regular troops. Tories and 
other disaffected persons collected, whose action was so 
threatening that General Ashe despatched two companies 
under Colonel Brown to disperse them. Before Brown 
reached their settlement they killed Captain Nathaniel Rich- 
ardson and committed other outrages, and then many of 
them fled into South Carolina. 

554 IXniiPf'XDEXCn, 1776 

'77^ Salt making on the coast 

c. R.. X. Salt being such an indispensable necei^sity, unusual ellortv 

739i79s'//4o ^^'ei'e w\7^<\^ to obtain a supply for the public, and R.-lj^.n 
Williams was cniployed to set up salt works at Beaufort, 
where pans for that purpose were erected. Conference 
were held with Dr. Franklin at Philadelphia as to the be-; 
process of manufacture, and salt pans v^t-re ordered fmu. 
that city. All along- the coast the inhabitants began will: 
their pots and kettles to make a supply. Early in October 
Sam Ashe wrote from the Cape Fear: "Tr Dciim Lanchuiiu; 
we here at present joyfully chant forth. The vessels 01 
war . . . took their departure a few (la}-s since, first burning 
two of their tenders. We have now an open port. . . . 
^ The humor of salt boiling seems to be taking place here. 1 

have seen some boiled . . . the cleanest and wdiitest of anv 
... I ever •^aw in my life; every old wife is now scouring 
her pint pot for the necessary operation. God send them 
good luck." The council gave directions for supplying the 
people. The quantity being limited, it was doled out. Con- 
ner Dowd was to sell salt in his possession "to the Whii^^ 
who bore arms on the late expedition again-t the Tories at 
]\Ioore*s Creek at ten shillings per bushel, not selhng more 
than a half bushel to each man." 

The British abandon Cape Fear 

During the summer Ceneral Moore remained at Wil- 
mington. There still lingered several British vessels in 
the lower harbor, while a detachment of their troops was in 

c. R., X, possession of Bahlhead. Toward the last of August ]\Ioore 
787, 824, 840 ' , , ■ 

took three hundred men and departed on a secret expecU- 

tion, no one having the slightest conjecture what was his 

purpose, unless to attack the enemy on that island. The 

result of the expedition is not recorded ; Ijut a month later 

the vessels departed, burning their tenders and the British 

sloop Crnizcr, which had been on that station for several 

years, v/as the refuge of Governor Alartin when driven from 

Fort Johnston, and now was {^robaldy so unseaworthy that 

she could not be removed. The ship Jenny, where the 

Tories seeking protection had found a resting place, also 

«g^mcnt'' sailed for Xew York ; and as these Loyalists had been or- 



i^anized into companies with officers l)y Governor Alartin. 
on their reachinc:: Xew York they were assigncl to a Loyalist 
reg-iment then formed at the north. 

Toward the end of Septemher the council a.q-ain convened ^.^^., x., 
at Halifax, and in the absence of the president, Samuel 
Ashe, Willie Jones was chosen to preside. 

A winter campaign threatened 

The Continental Congress having directed that tw^o of the 
continental regiments should be conducted by General Moore 
to join General \\'ashington, subsequently, in view of a 
firobablc winter campaign at the south, left it in the dis- 
cretion of the Council of Safety to retain them in the State. 
The council thought it best that they should not go north at 
that time, and the order was countermanded. 

It being believed that a southern campaign was in con- 
templation by tl-.e British commander, preparations v/ere 
made to meet it. It was considered that the invasion would 
be either in Virginia or South Carolina, and North Carolina 
would protect herself by aiding in the defence. General c.^^- x. 
^loore had with him in North Carolina five continental regi- 
ments, except about one hundred and fifty of the First and 
Second, these companies and tlic Third Regiment being with 
General Howe in Georgia. They were distributed at differ- 
ent points in the eastern part of the State, while a small 
detachment of the Third was at Salisbury with Colonel 

Making the 


The CoxsTiTL'Tiox of 1776 

Making the constitution. — Divergencies. — The conservatives.— T!i.- 
results of the election. — Johnston burned in effigy. — The congre- 
meets. — The committee moves slowly.— Proceeding.s in the conven- 
tion. — Citizenship established. — The principles of government.— 
Sovereignty of the people. — The Orange instructions. — Those nf 
iNIecklenbu'rg. — Hooper urges the Delaware plan. — In' the committee 
room.— The draught reported.~The bill of rights.— The religion- 
test. — Thoroughly" considered. — The Virginia constitution. — A reii- 
resentative republic. — Public schools. — The religious test adopted 
— The instruHK-nt conservative.— A new administration installed. 

Hardly had the Indians l^ecn subdued before the sombre 
s^^^^^o^^" o^' ^ British invasion cast itself over the seaboard 
coustituiion Qf ^i~^Q southern states, and toward the end of the year, as at 
its opening:, the people of North Carolina looked to the future 
with painful foreboding's of gxave perils and devastation. 
In the midst of these disquieting- anticipations they were 
now to ordain a constitution and government for the inde- 
pendent State and start out the new commonwealth on it.- 
vovage through unknov/n and uncertain seas. Happy would 
it be for themselves and for posterity were the foundations 
of the political edifice well and strongly laid ; deplorable in- 
deed if tyranny and despotism should find a crevice through 
which they might enter. 


The first effort to frame a constitution made apparent in 
the summer pronounced divergencies among the public incn. 
Johnston, Hewes, Hooper, I'homas Jones, Iredell, Allen 
Jones and probably Nash, Caswell and possibly Harnett an<l 
Sam Ashe might be ranked as conservatives, with varying 
shades of ditterence between them. Willie Jones. Person. 
Burke, Penn. Avery, the Alexanders, John Ashe, Polk, and 
Dr. CaMwell might be classed as advocates of a pure democ- 
racv. But there is so little on which to hazard a conjecture. 

TflE P.IRTIRS 557 

except uncertain tradition, that one hesitates to assign many 'Zjl 

of those mentioned to eitiicr side. All reahzed that tliey ocuWer 
were severed forever from the past and were to estabhsh 
a g-overnment for themselves and posterity on a republican 
basis. The Conservatives. Johnston and otlu-r'^. believed that TheCon- 
the general features of the I'.ritish system, with which they 
were familiar, ottered the best government, freer from pos- 
sible evils than any other known to history. They preferred 
a stable and independent judiciary, controlled only by the 
principles of law established by the decisions of the courts; 
justices of the peace and court officers also to have a stable 
tenure; the great officers to lie appointed by the Assembly 
rather than by popular election, and the Assembly itself kept 
within bounds by annual elections. 

The other extreme view looked to uprooting every vestige j^^ 
of the old government and the establishment of a pure ^--^'i'-^^^'^ 
democracy, with annual election of judges, clerks, and jus- 
tices of the peace by the freemen of the commonwealth. 
Between these two extremes there were many shades of 
opinion. In view of the necessity of framing a constitution. c.R..x,6i6 
on August 9th the council had prepared an address to the 
people, recommending that each county should choose tive 
delegates particularly suited to represent them in this great 
work. Davis, the printer, was dilatory in printing this 
address for distribution, and Harnett expresserl himself as 
anxiously awaiting the copies. "The advice of the council to c. k.,x,:S7 
the inhabitants has not yet got abroad," he said. '"Davis 
ought to be hurried."' Evidently he had the matter much 
at heart. 

The election was held on October 15th. While there does 
not appear to have been any attempt at the organization of 
parties, yet here and there throughout the province oppo- 
sition was manifested to the election of particular persons. 
At Xew Bern, Tisdale unsuccessfully opposed Abner Nash. 
Hewes was returned from Edenton as usual ; Penn w^as not 
elected from Granville, strange to say; while Hooper was c.r.,x.9.4 
returneil from Perquimans, as well as from Wilmington. 
Hewes and Hooper stood on the same line as Johnston and 
Iredell, while Penn was an ultra-democrat, in line with 
Thomas Person. Harnett was so desirous of the election 


^'J of Hooper that he himself stood in Brunswick County, siir- 

October rencierins; hi^ hold on the borou,G:h of Wilmington th;it 
Hooper mii^ht be assured of a seat in the conc^ress. Samuel 
Spencer, a strong- democrat, was not returned from Anson. 
Mecklenburg added to her delegfation W'aightstill Avery, an^l 
Guilford, David Caldwell. There was considerable change- 
in the personnel of the deputies, but except the change^ 
above mentioned there was only one other notable leader 
not returned — Samuel Johnston. Allen Jones. John John- 
ston, and Thomas Jones and all the other conservatives were 
• I,- elected. For some reason a great effort was made to defeat 

Johnston, who had always been unanimously chosen to pre- 
Ti-'" ' side over the previous congresses, was in strong- sympathy 
with the Continental Congress, and an ardent promoter of 
every measure tending- to sustain independence : no man was 
McRee^ more lixed than he in his American principles. Xo means 
33^' ' ' were spared to poison the minds of the people ag"ainst him 
personally; "to inflame their prejudices, excite alarm, and 
■, f; sow in them by indefinite charges and vague whispers the 
, seeds of distrust."' There was a hot and spirited canvass. 

' resulting in Johnston's defeat : and the triumph was cele- 

brated with riot and debauchery, the orgies being con- 
c.R.,x.gi4 chilled by burning Johnston in effigy. While Hewes was 
elected from the borough, and Thomas Benbury and Thomas 
Jones were returned from the county. James Blount, Luke 
( Sumner, and Jacob Hunter replaced Sam Johnston, John B. 

: Beasly. and Thomas Hunter. Apparently James Blount was 

the opponent of Johnston, and succeeded in displacing him. 
The election and its result in Chowan led to the character- 
, ization of Johnston's opponents by ViX. Iredell as "rioters." 

to whom he ascribed such principles as these: "I despise 
everv man who differs from me. I am sure he must be 
McRee's ^ Tory. I think a man more liable to be a Tory who has 
Iredell I. hitlicrto bcen most earnest in the cause." "I impute to gen- 

33^, 330 

tlemen all our present difficulties." "I am a sworn enemy 
to all gentlemen." "I believe it honorable and proper to per- 
secute poor distressed individuals when we have them in our 
power, provi'led we want courage to prove in any other 
manner the alacrity of our zeal against those we suppose 
enemies of our Ctumtrv." This "creed of a rioter'' would 


indicate that the princijial charges against Johnston were ^!f 

ier>onal. based on his wealth and lofty bearing and on some ^'ovember 
kindness to distres-ed persons, perhaps Tories, which was 
imputed to him as Toryism. There is found in it no trace of 
disagreement between him and hi.s countrymen on the funda- 
mental princiT)Ies of government. The strenuous opposition 
to him has been attributed to Willie Jones and his friends, it 
being suggested that they desired to remove Johnston from 
his dominant positi'"^in in public affairs, the more readily to 
secure the adoption of an ultra-deniocratic form of govern- 
ment, which he opposed; if so. his defeat was without avail. 

The congress meets 

The congress met on November 12th. at Halifax, and c. r., x, 

. -, . '•'■3 

Allen Jones proposed Richard Caswell for president, uho 

was accordingly unanimously chosen. Theretofore all votes 
in the several congresses, as also in the council, had been 
by counties and towns ; now it was determined, against the 
vote of the Albemarle section and the towns of Brunswick 
and New Bern alone, that all questions should be determined 
by the voice of the several members. A majority of the 
members were to govern, not a majority of the counties. 
At once the congress appointed a committee composed of 
the president. Thomas Person, Allen Jones. John Ashe. 
Abner Xash. Willie Jones, Thomas Jones, Simon Bright, 
Christopher Xeale. Samuel Ashe. William Haywood. Griffith 
Rutherford. Henry Abbott. Luke Sumner, Thomas Respis, 
Archibald ^^laclaine, James H^gun. and Hezekiah Alex- 
ander to frame a constitution. In the formation of this 
committee the eastern members largely predominated, there 
being frnm the west only one member each from Granville, 
Rowan, and ^Mecklenburg, while Dobbs. Craven. Chowan, 
and X"ew Hanover each had two members. Subsequently, 
however, as other members came in. there were added to 
that committee Waightstill Avery. Whitmel Hill. Thomas 
Eaton, John Birdsong, Robert Irwin, Joseph Hewes, Cor- 
nelius Harnett. William Sharpe, and John Spicer. four of 
whom were from the west. It would seem that where one 
conservative was appointed on the committee he was im- 
mediateiv followed bv a democrat, the committee being about 


17:6 evenly divided, and doubtless well representing the senti- 

ments of the congress. It at once began its work, but week-; 
were to elapse before it completed its plan of government. 
Proceei'ings p^^ attack OH South Carolina being feared, for a large 
congress fjeet bearing a considerable number of troops ha<l sailed fr^ni 
903 " ' New York supposed to be destined for Charleston, the 
congress ordered General Moore to march widi the con- 
tinentals for the relief of that city, and a conmiittee was 
raised to consider the most speedy methoil of embodying 
Additional five thousand militia to aid in defence. Three additional 
battalions j-p^in^gnts of contincutals were also provided for. to be com- 
manded respectively by James Hogun. James Armstrong, 
^, and John Williams. Hooper and Hewes uere re-elected 

delegates to the Continental Congress, but Penn now gave 
place to Dr. Burke, of Orange County. It is to be observed, 
however, that although Penn was not chosen a member bv 
his county, nor retained in the Continental Congress, he was 
appointed one of the committee "to revise and consider all 
such statutes and acts of assembly as are in force in North 
Carolina, and to prepare bills to be passed into laws con- 
sistent with the new form of government." lie was not 
entirely ignored. And Sam Johnst(~>n was named second 
on this very important committee, the first being Thomas 
'J. Jones. A seal of State being necessary, the congress di- 

rected Hooper. Hewes. and Burke to procure one ; and in 
the meantime the jirivate seal of the governor was to be 
affixed to all grants and other public acts of the State. 
Criminal To euforce the criminal laws, temporary courts of oyer 

and terminer were established to be held in the several dis- 
tricts of the State, two persons learned in law in each 
district being appointed by the governor to hold them. It 
was enacted that all of the former statutes and such parts 
' of the common law as were not inconsistent with the free- 

dom and independence of the State should continue in force 
until the ne.xt Assembly. 
B.iyard Thc roval government being subverted and a new State 

SinJ'eion, crcctcd ou its ruins, the people felt as if "they had been 
c.^^'oiina marooned on some desert island," without a constitution. 
Reports government or laws, and the congress addressed itself to 
organizing civil affairs. All glebes and lands formerly held 


by any religious society were (ieclared vested in their \lj^ 

owners : and the congress ordained that all regular ministers 
of every denomination should have power to celebrate -^s^.-;, 
matrimony according to the rites and ceremonies of their 090, qg? 
respective churches, they, however, observing the rules and 
restrictions provided by law. It was particularly necessary es'tibil'shed 
to establish citi/ionship. The congress directed the governor 
to offer free pardon and protecti(jn to all persons who should 
within ninety days take the oath of allegiance to the State, 
and those who refused to take the oaths were declarefl in- 
capable of bringing any suit, or purchasing any lands, or 
transferring their lands, which were declared forfeited to 
the State. All persons residing within the limits of the State 
were held to owe allegiance ; and it was declared that any one 
who should thereafter levy war against the State or adhere 
to its enemies or give them aid and assistance or intelli- 
gence shall be adjudged guilty of high treason and suffer 
death, and forfeit his property; but on conviction the judge 
might make provision out of the forfeited estate for the 
wife or children of the criminal; and it was declared that 
any person owing allegiance to the State who should deny 
the supreme authority of the people, or assert that those who 
had taken up arms were rebels, or deny the lawfulness of 
defending the State, or dp any act tending to propagate and 
spread sedition, should be adjudged guilty of a misde- 

The principles of government 

The matter of ordaining a new government had received 
thoughtful attention.* In every colony much consideration 
had been bestoweil on fundamental principles. The people 
were embarking on unknown seas, and the [)rinciples of gov- 
ernment were much discussed. Articles on the sul)ject were 
widely circulated. It seems to have been generally consid- 
ered that the legislative power ought to be vested in two 

♦Apparently after the failure to agree on a constifution at the s R., xi, 
previous se.-sion -ome one wrote to John Adams for an expression ^*' 
of his views, and his reply is preserved in Governor Caswell's letter- 
book. Governor Swain said it was addressed to Burke. We should 
think that it was addressed to Caswell. The constitution contains 
some oi the principles he advocated. (N. C. Urn. Mag., 1850. 2^2.) 


^JJ^ bodies, not oik*, as in Pennsylvania; while there was (hffcr- 

ence of opinion a? to whether the executive should have anv 
legislative function. Other points of difference were as {<> 
the election of the chief executive and other great officers, 
whether by the people themselves or by the Assembly ; and 
particularly as to the election and term of office of the 
judges ; also as to the qualification of the electors. In sonic 
of the colonies all freemen could vote; in North Ca:rolina 

; . only freeholders had enjoyed that right. 

C. R , X, 


Sovereignty of the people 

The fundamental principle of the sovereignty of the people 
was universally accepted. It was held that political power 
is of two kinds — one the principal and supreme, the other 
[ , " the derived and inferior; the first possessed only by the 

people, the other by their servants ; that what is ordained by 
the people cannot be altered but by them ; that the legislature 
must observe the limitations and restrictions imposed by the 
' ' ' supreme power; and that the executive, legislative, and 
' '■ ■ ■ judicial powers are distinct and independent. These prin- 

ciples were embraced in a set of maxims, which doubtless 
-' were extensively disseminated throughout all the colonies. 

• They were embraced in the instructions given by the people 

' '^. '• of Mecklenburg and of Orange for the guidance of their 

' delegates in the congress; and. indeed, the exact agreement 

I'-'"' of the seven principles first declared in these instructions 

indicates that they had a common source. 

;> :■;■.' The Orange instructions 

c. R, X, Among the Orange instructions was one to the effect 

S7''^;r ^'^'' that all officers should give an assurance that they "do not 
acknowledge supremacy, ecclesiastical or civil, in any for- 
eign power, or spiritual infallibility, or authority to grant the 
*■ divine pardon." This was in the handwriting of Dr. Burke. 

himself a Roman Catholic. Similarly, Mecklenburg in- 
structed that no atheist nor any one who denied any of the 
tj,' - ' Persons of the Holy Trinity, or the divine authoritv of the 
Old and New Testament, or who should be of the Roman 
Catholic religion, should hold any office in the State. 
Orange County provided for two branches of the Assembly, 


one to be elected by the freeholders and householders and Ujl 

the other by freehoMers onlv; while Mecklenbur.s:, whose j^l^^^f/?^!;: 
instructions were in the hamlwritin.^- of Avery, required that structions 
both branches of the legislature should be elected by "the 
.^ood people of the State": and further, that "all judges 
should be appointed by the General Assembly, and that their 
term of office sh.ould be for one year only."' Mecklenburg 
also directed that there should be a land tax. and that all 
should be taxed according to their estates : and that a college 
should be handsomely endowed in that county. 

Both Hewes and Penn returned to North Carolina at that 
time, and Hooper, feeling constrained to remain in atten- 
dance on the Continental Congress, wrote his views for the 
consideration of the congress. "Let us consider," said he, S67, ses ' 
"the people at large as a source from which ail power is to be 
derived. . . . Rulers must be conceived as the creatures of 
the people. ... A single branch of legislation is a many- 
headed monster, . . . and its members become a tyranny, 
dreadful in proportion to the numbers which compose it. 
... I am now convinced that a third branch of legislation 
is at least unnecessary. But for the sake of execution we 
must have a magi.>trate solely executive." He urged that 
the, constitution of Delaware, which had been promulgated 
in September, had great merit: "I admire," said he, "no 
part of the Delaware plan more than the appointing judges 
during good behavior. Limit their political existence, and 
make them dependent upon the suffrages of the people, that 
instant we corrupt the channels of public justice. Rhode 
Island furnislies an example too dreadful to imitate." Be- 
sides the Delaware plan, the congress had also tl:e new con- 
stitutions of \irginia. South Carolina, and Xew Jersey for 
reference. The committee doubtless availed themselves of 
every aid in performiing their important duty; but the pre- 
vailing ideas were, not unnaturally, similar to those that 
found expression in the bill of rights* and constitution of 
the adjoining State of Mrginia. 

*The Bill of Rights of Virginia was written entirely by Thomas 
Jefferson, while the body of the con>titution was prepared by George 
Mason. (\Virt"s Life of Patrick Henry, 215.) 


1776 Althoug-li some members exercised more intiuence th;m 

sJ"r-., others, it would seem that tlie work of the comimittee w;is 

^^"'■'^'' the joint product of the intelligence of all of the members. 

Thefrumers In 1 787 Tuel2:e Aslie Said to the legislature: "If my opinion 

coniiuution of our constitutioH is an error, I fear it is an incurable one. 

for I had the honor to assist in the forming it. and confess I 

so designed it, and I believe every other gentleman con- 

cernetl did also" ; from which it would be inferred that the 

constitution was the joint product of the memliers who 

"designed it." 

Debates in A-lthouch Thomas Tones was the chairman, tlie president 

cunveimon * ^ - ■ a i.- \ 

in 1835. of the convention. Caswell, was perhaps the most mtluential 
*^"' member. Of him the venerable Nathaniel ^Nlacon said: "He 

was certainly one of the most powerful men that ever lived 
in this or any other country"; and Judge Toomer said: 
"Such was his influence in the convention that tradition says 
he dictated the principles, if not the terms, of the instru- 
ment." On that committee were also Harnett, Thomas Jones. 
Willie and Allen Jone<, Maclaine. Avery. John and Sam 
Ashe, Thomas Person and Abner Xash. 

These and others as well, iriembers of the committee, were 
men of decided convictions and were not overshadowed by 
any of their associates. Still Caswell, being president of the 
convention, prol^ably exerted a strong influence not only in 
the committee, but in the congress, and as he had apparendy 
sought the views of John Adams and preserved Adams's 
letter in his executive letter-book, it is an inference that he 
agreed with the sentiments of the New Englander, which 
were conservative, 
s. R..XI. That Dr. Burke had a principal hand in devising the legis- 

Xiii, 31 lative plan may be gathered from Johnston's writing to him 
of it as "your plan"; while Caswell said if there is any 
blame to be fixed on those who formed the constitution, his 
good friend, ]\Ir. Harnett, ought to take a very considerable 
part of it to himself for cramping so much the powers of 
the executive. To Harnett also, by tradition, is assigned 
the authorship of the thirty-fourth article, placing all denom- 
inations on the same footing, granting entire liberty of 



\vor.>hip, but not exemptiiii^ preachers of sedition from legal '^if 


Mr. Wilson, of Perquimans, reniarkeil in the convention DeVi.nesin 

o 1 t .. -••11 1 1 convention, 

ot 1635 that the constitution is thought to have been as 1335. 3.34 
much or more the work (the thirty-second section excepted) 
of Willie Jones than any other one individual." But if so, 
Willie Jones was not such a radical democrat as some have 

Doubtless tliere were many concessions and compromises. 

The draught reported 

For three weeks the committee was framing the instru- c. R.,x,g54 
ment ; and then, on Friday. December 6th, Thomas Jones 
informed the house that the committee had prepared the 
form of a constitution, v.diich he read in his place and sub- 
mitted to the house. It was thereupon ordered that a copy 
should be made for each county and for each district, and it 
should be taken under consideration tlie following Monday. 

Of the first draught we have no copy and but little infor- 
mation of its provisions, for the instrument as perfected was 
probably much amended by the congress itself. It may be 
conjectured that the committee followed the plan indicated 
by Thomas Jones in the preceding congress and provided 
for two branches of the legislature, one elected by the free- 
holders and the oilier by the freemen. The justices were to 
be elected by the people. Johnston on December 7th wrote : 
"There is one thing in it wdiich I cannot bear, and yet I 

am inclined to think it will stand. The inhabitants are em- ^- ^•' -^' 


powered to elect the justices in their respective counties, 
who are to be the judges of the county courts. Numberless 
inconveniences must arise from so absurd an institution." 
This was changed by the congress. There was no religious 
test for office in the committee's report, but one was inserted 
by the congress. On Monday and Tuesday the house con- 
sidered the constitution, when it was read paragraph by 
paragrai)h. amended and passed the first reading. On 
Thursday it was again read and debated paragraph by para- 

*It is said that Governor Swain once mentioned that a large part 
of the original draft of the conslitution was in the handwriting of 
\Vaight.>till Avery. 


i^^ graph and passed its second reading-. Thomas Jones tho:t 

reported the bill of rights, which he read in his place; aini 
this was taken np on Saturday, debated paragraph by para 
graph, amended and [lassed its first reading. 
McRee'K ( )n December i :;t:h Johnston wrote: "One of the nit-mbcr^ 

339 ' ' from the back country introduced a test by which cvcrv 
person before he should be admitted to a ^l^arc in the legis- 
lature should swear that he believed in the Holv Trinitv 
and that the scripture of the Old Testament was written b\ 
divine inspiration. This was carried after a verv v/arm 
debate, and has blown up such a tlame that everything is in 
danger of being thrown into confusion. They talk of having 
all the officers, even the judges and clerks, elected annualK-, 
with a number of other absurdities." This was the talk in 
■^'!" the house, not in the committee. It was a departure from 

■ the \ irginia constitution and from the committee's plan, and 
it precipitated a contest. 

The following Tuesday the bill of rights was read para- 
graph by paragraph, amended, passed and engrossed. It 
contains many of the principles of }.Iagna Charta. For sev- 
eral days the constitution was \et further considered, the 
house reading it paragraph by paragraph and aniending it. 
Finally it was perfected, passed, engrossed, and ordered to 
c.R.,x,974 be immediately printed anrl distributed. The committee was 
appointed November 13th. reported on Deceml/cr 6th. and 
the constitution was umler consideration by tlie entire body 
for twelve days, when it was adopted on December 18th. 
Each word in it was often weighed, debated, and passed on 
by the house itself. 

Whatever may have been the particular zeal of this man 
or that in the committee, or in the house, every principle 
contained in the instrument and every provision of it was 
responsive to the will of the majority of the members. 
Similarity to As perfected, it nearlv approaclied the \'irc!inia consti- 
constitution tutiou With its bill of rights. The second branch of the 
legislature, which in every other province but \'irginia was 
known as the council, was denominated the senate, \'irginia 
being th.e first to introduce that wt^rd in American history. 
Senators were to be elected only by freehoMers, while 
assemblymen were to be voted for bv all citizens who had 


paiil their public taxes. The g-ovcrnor and other £:;reat Ujt 

otiiccrs were to be elected by the General Assembly, and the 
judges were to hold their offices during gootl behavior, as in 
\'irginia. The justices of the peace were to be recommended 
to the governor by the representatives in the Assembly, and 
when commissioned by him were to hold their offices during 
good behavior, and were not to be removed from office by 
the General Assembly imless for misbehavior. 

Thus was established a representative rcpuljlic far re- '^^i{^:^'^''^°' 
moved from the pure and simple democracy which some r-^put'i'c 
have said that Willie Jones advocated. Indeed, the Consti- 
tution conformed in many respects to the views of Johnston, 
although he was not a member of the congress. There n\ ere 
to be annual elections of assemblymen, and a governor 
annually elected and ine!igi])le after three years of service 
until a like period had elapsed : and the judiciary was entirely 
independent. Still Johnston remained opposed to the plan s^R-.^L 
for constituting the legislature, and became discontented, 
perhaps the more because the people had burned him in 

]\Iecklenburg's voice for the establishment and endow- ^"'^''f 

J> schools 

ment of a school in that county seems to have l>een answered 
by a provision that a school or schools should be established 
by the legislature for the convenient instruction of youth, 
with such salaries to the masters, paitl by the public, as' may 
enable them to instruct at low prices: and all useful learning 
:;hould be duly encouraged and promoted in one or more 
universities. The u'estern memlier who offered in the house 
that legislators should swear that they believed in the Holy 
Trinity, as required by the -Mecklenburg instructions, may 
have been Rev. Dr. David Caldwell, of Guilford, who was 
not a member of the committee. The introduction of that The 
test raised a flame. Many of the public men of that era were [l^t 
deists ; some were atheists. It is said that some of the lead- 
ing members of the convention were of that mind, and it 
was for that reason, perhaps, that this proposed section 
caused such excitement. Besides, if the original proposition 
followed the ^Mecklenburg instructions throughout, it ex- 
clude' 1 from office all Roman Catholics, and Burke was of 
that faith, as well, perh.ips. as othe'"S of the congress. The 


m^ Mecklenburg proposition was, however, somewhat alterc! 

§52 of before adoi^tion;* but still no one who denied the truth of 

Constitution , ,-> " i- ■ i i- • i • - i ,- , 

the Protestant rehiiion or the divme authority ot the Old 
and Xew Testament, or should hold religious principles in- 
compatible with the freedom and safety of the State, was 
to be admitted to office. This apparently was not thought 
to exclude Roman Catholics, who from the first held office 
unquestioned. It did exclude atheists and infiflels. but none 
of the pul'lic men of Xorth Carolina appear to have fallen 
within that category, although tradition attributes to sonic 
of them a little laxity in their religious beliefs. Xo public 
man, Roman Catholic or of atheistical inclinations, ceased to 
hold office. 

The congress was apparently more conservative than the 
committee, for the committee's plan of electing the justicc> 
of the pence, who were to hold the county courts, by a vote 
of the inhabitanis. was rejected by the congress. 

The From first to last the instrument as perfected by the con- 

instrument 1,1 .-.'^ii-ii 

conservative gTess was couscrvative, and the government it estabhsned 

must have been a great disappointment to those wlio favored 
a pure democracy. Xor did the congress submit it to the 
people for their approval, and it took effect immediately on 
its adoption. It. however, was well received by the people. 
and was the subject of eulogy for many years. , It remained 
unchanged for two generations, although in the course of 
time complaints began to be made at the west against the 
plan of representation, and in 1835 ^^^^ people preferred to 
choose their own governors, and twenty years later the re- 
quirement of a freehold to constitute a senatorial elector was 
c R., x. The constitution being adopted, two days later the con- 

gress cho:-e Richard Caswell to be governor of the State un- 
til the next session of the General Assembly ; and Cornelius 
Harnett. Thomas Person. William Dry. William Haywood, 
Edward Starkey. Joseph Leach, and Thomas Eaton mem- 
bers of the Council of State; and in case of the death 
or other disability of the governor, the president of the 

■^A writer in tlic Wilniinston It'crjld of 1844 a>cr'l>od that article 
as written to Cornelius Harnett. Karnett doubtless amended 
Dr. Caldwell's first proposition. 



council was to succeed him. The congress having- provided 'J^ 

for tiic establishment of courts of over and terminer in the i''''"'ber 

, ' s. 1^ , 

several (hstricts 01 the State, proceeded to appoint justices 

of the peace, sheritt's and constables for the severrd counties, 
and establish county courts until the x-Vssembly should meet. 
As Caswell, on becoming governor, resigned his office as 
treasurer 01 the southern district, John Ashe was elected to 
that office : and Cornelius Harnett was elected vice-president 
of the congress. The common law and the laws of the 
province that were not inconsistent with the freedom and 
independence of the State were declared in force. Having c. R., x, 
performed its work, the congress, after sitting ail day .Sun- 
day, on Monday, December 2^^, adjourned sine die. 

Caswell's Admixisi ration. 1776-80 

Caswell's administration. — Military movements. — Political power. 
— The first Assemiily. — Tories banislied. — Sheppard's rejiinicnt. — 
Conditions within the State. — The task of the patriots. — Johnston 
dissai!>f;cd. — Loyalists depart. — Arrival of Lafayette. — Trade 
through Ocracoke inlet. — The Continental Line joins the Grand Army. 
— Brandywine. — Germantown. — Death of Nash. — New battalions. 

1777 Caswell's administration 

January Qn tlic adjoumuient of congress Richard Caswell found 

himself in power as the first grovernor of the sovereign State 
of Xorth Carolina. His title was "his Excellency." Shortly 
after the Christmas holidays lie seems to have taken pos- 
session of the governor's palace at Xew Bern, and there 
on January i6th lie held his first council, Cornelius Harnett 

^^j- being chosen president of the board. On the same day 

800,907 judges were appointed to hold the courts of o}er and 
terminer. Among those appointed were John Penn. Samuel 
Spencer and Sam Ashe : and the criminal courts again began 
to be held. Penn. however, declined to serve, so no court 
was held in the C'range district. Plis action in this matter, 
disappointing Governor Caswell, was the probable cause of 
an estrangement between theuL 

A few days later the tine fiu'niture and effects of Gov- 
ernor Martin with which the palace was tilled were sold at 
auction under an order of tb.e congress, and his Excellency 
bought largely of them, doubtless to furnish the palace. 

s. R., XL X'otwithstanding the treatv of peace that had in the fall 

393 - . - ' . 

of 1776 been informally agreed on with the Indians, in 
Indians Fcbruarv they again became hostile, and a iletachment of 
militia was ordered to range in the district of Washington 
to prevent depredations, and General Rutherford was di- 
rected to raise eight independent companies, four for Wash- 
ington and four for Tryon, Burke, and Surry, to be employed 








1. Malrice MockE 
3. Alexander ifARTiN 

•i. Abner Nash 
4. Robert Howe 

.]fn]-R\lE\r OF TROOPS 571 

in building- stocka(lc>. in scouting and in protecting the '777 


William Sharpe and W'aightstill Avery were appointed com- 
missioners in conjunction with representatives of Mrginia to 
iTiake a treaty with the Over-hill Cherokees and fix the boun- The in.iian 
dary between th.eir hunting grounds and the white settlement, '-"^"'"^^''y 
and during th.e summer they accomplished this purpose, ex- 
tending the boundary line into the Great Iron Mountains. 

Military movements 

In anticipation of a southern campaign. General Moore '"^ 
marched his entire command to South Carolina, being like- 
wise accompanied by two battalions of militia under the 
command oi General Allen Jones, appointed by tlie congress 
when in sessirin at Hahfax. On Tanuarv General s. r., xi, 
Moore's continentals were at Charleston, and the appre- 
hension of a southern campaign having passed away, and 
Washington's army being hard pressed, on February 6th the 
Council of State directed that the ranks of three of his 
regiments should be filled by transfers from the others and 
he should lead them to the north. The considerable mmiber 
of inhabitants in western North Carolina led to the belief 
that that was a favoralale region for securing recruits. In- 
deed, General Rutherford made a return of over ten thou- 
sand men for his militia brigade in the Salisbury district 
alone, and Xash. wlio on Februar}- 5th was promoted by the 
Continental Congress to be brigatlier-general, was directed Xash 
to repair to the western part of the State and superintend generar 
the recruiting for the new regiments ; but rapidly succeeding 
this first order came a second directing that ]\Ioore and 
Nash should proceed with all the continentals to the aid of 
General Washington. !Moore was then at Charleston in com- 
mand of the department. On receiving these orders he 
returned to North Carolina to arrange for the long march 
of the troops, ordering Nash to follow him with the regi- 
ments. In April they reached Wilmington and went into s. r., xi, 
camp temporarily. Tliere, unhappily, on April 15th, Gen- "'''■* 
eral }^Ioore died from an attack of gout in the stomach. ( )n De;.thof 
the same day his brother, Judge Maurice Moore, also died 

S7^ C. ISir ELL'S . IPMJXISTR. 1 770.V. !;;6-So 

UJZ in the same house. General Xash assumed command and maixhied to the north. A camp was established at Halifax, 

m.rth where were concentrated the continental battalions then 

forming, whose ranks were not yet filled ; and another camp 
and hospital were located at Georgetown. Md., where all the 
North Carolina troops who had not had the smallpox were 
inoculated before joining the army. The brigade reached 

May the Potomac toward the close of May. and while many 

were detained there to be vaccinated., two hundred were 
found to have already had the dread disease, and these were 
hurried forward to reinforce Washington. Under Colonel 

1777 Sumner, they joined the army at ^lorristown on July 5th. 

Political The new constitution apportioned the political power of 

the State very ditterently from wdiat had been the custom 
in colonial times. In former assemblies the Albemarle 
counties had each five representatives and the others but 
two. In the revolutionary bodies each county and borough 
had but a single vote without regard to the number of rep- 
resentatives they sent. Under the new constitution every 
county was entitled to one senator and two representatives 
and the borough towns to a representative. By this innova- 
tion the counties were all put on the same footing. 

The first The division of the legislature into two houses, each con- 

Assembly .. . i-iit i - . i, 

sistmg ot a relatively small number ot members, resulted 
s. R., XII, in lessening the influence of many of the old leaders. When 
the Assembly, elected in March, met in April, the personnel 
of the representatives was greatly changed. Many of the 
prominent public men were either in the military or civil 
service, occupying positions that rendered them ineligible 
as members. Sam Johnston, being one of the treasurers. 
was not a member; nor was Harnett, who was a iricmber of 
the council. In the senate, Archibald Maclaine, Allen Tones. 
Griffith Rutherford, and Sam Ashe were men of the most 
influence. In the house. Abner Xash., Averv, Benbury, John 
Butler, Alexander Lillington, W'iilie Jones and William 
Hooper, and John Penn were among the leaders ; but the 
disappearance from the legislative halls of many who had 
exerted a controlling influence in former years was very j 

observable. | 



Legislative action ^ 

It does not appear that there were an}- party lines. Ten "^p"' 
(lavs after the session opened Aimer Xash wrote: "W'e are 
all harmony, and a perfectly good agreement, as far as I 
can see. is likelv to prevail in our houses of legislature." S- ^- ^^' 
Xash wa:^ elected speaker of the house of commons and 
Sam Ashe was chosen to preside over the senate. 

A mass of important business, much of it of a delicate 
nature, confronted th.e Assembly: and despite the absence 
of so many men of experience who had been accustomed 
to manage public affairs, the laws passed at that and the 
adjourned session attest the industry and iiigh capacity of 
the assemblymen. }vlaclaine in the senate and Hooper in the 
house were probably the most influential in managing busi- 
ness. The former was in particular a strong, learned and xxiv, 6 
painstaking lawyer and a patriot of the first water. The 
Assembly now levied an ad valorem tax on land, negroes, and P''op="ytax 
all other property, thus inaugurating a great change in the 
system of taxation. It established two new counties at the 
west, one named in honor of the governor and the other for Burke,' and 
Dr. Burke, "a compliment ne\-er before paid to a private counjrs 
citizen," so high vras the popular regard for the talented 
Irishman, who was then representing the State in the Con- 
tinental Congress with much ability. At the east, also, a 
county was created and called Camden, in grateful recog- 
nition of that nobleman's efforts in Parliament to befriend 
the colonies. 

The election of officers by the congress in December had 
been merely for a temp(.rary purpose, and now the Assembly 
re-elected Caswell and tlie members of the council. County f;,,^' ■^"' 
courts were provided for. and courts of oyer and terminer ^-"^i^'. 39 
were established, and Samuel Spencer was chosen to hold 
these courts in four districts, wdiile Bonfield and James Davis 
were appointed for the Edenton and New^ Bern districts. 
Associated with these were others not lawyers. Because 
of the uncertainty of the times, it was considered best to 
postpone the establishment of civil courts until the next 
session, and the seriate rejected the bill introduced to create 
them. Courts of admiralty were established and collectors 
of customs appointed for the various ports. 


\^i An act was passed regulating- the militia, rlividing i-;ich 

company into four classes, which should in turn be called 
out when the necessity arose for making a draft. The l)rii;- 

s. R., XII, adiers-general were all re-elected except Thomas PerMin. 

'°^ who was succeeded by John Butler ;* but General \'ail 

dying soon. General Simpson was appointed by the cotuicii 

^.\!^v. to take his place. A particular act was passed to encourage 

I, II- 15 volunteers in the existing- Indian war. and a premium 01 

£10 was offered for each scalp taken from and "fleeced oif 

the head of an Indian man" by a captor being in the service 

of the State, and £40 for each scalp taken by one not in 

the pay of the State, "who shall voluntarily undertake in 

make war upon the said Indians." Particular ettorts were 

also made to promote recruiting for the continental service. 

' ^ To suppress the Tories, the comity courts were authorized 

to require every inhabitant who should refuse to take the 

' ' ' oath of alleg-iance to depart from the State in sixty days. 

For this purpose the counties were to be laid off into small 

districts, in which a justice of the peace was to warn the 

inhabitants to come and take the oath, and on the failure of 

anv to do so, they were to be banished. Banished persons 

had the right to sell their property before leaving, but in 

■^ ■■ case they did not, their property became forfeited to the 

' ' State. The patriots of that day realized the necessity of 

reducing the number of the disaft'ected within the limits 

of the State as far as practicable, and although these were 

harsh and rigorous exactions, yet they seem to have been 

' necessary and wise. 

Sam Johnston and John Ashe were re-elected treasurers. 
and apparently there w-as no particular contest over any 
appointment, except alone for one of the delegates to the 
Continental Congress. Penn w'as a member of the house, 
and desired to replace Hewes. He made a determined and 
personal eft'ort. alleging that Plewes. who as a member of 
the Marine Committee was transacting very important busi- 
ness for the congress, was holding two offices, a method of 

♦General Butler, like Rutherford, had been one of those county 
officers of whose excesses the Regulators complained. He was 
sheriff of Orange in December, 1770, although his brother William 
was one of the Regulutors. 


electioneerin;^ that qreatly (iis2:ustc(,l Hewes and h\< friends. 'i^ 

A warm stru^-qle ensued, and Pcnn succeeded l)y ten votes, -^t""'' 
The deleg:ates chosen were Burke, Hooper, and Penn. j,'^,fji';i_ 
Hooper decHned. tor the expense had been too heavy for 339 
his purse, and his friend Harnett was chosen to fill the 
vacancv. It was, however, said that had Hewes then been 
willing to accept he wouUi have been chosen unanimously 
to replace Hooper, but his friends asserted that he would 
not accept under the circumstances. If his great and patri- 
otic service at Philadelphia was not appreciated by the 
Assembly, he was content to attend to his private affairs. 

At that time the militia battalions sent to South Carolina ^J'^^Jt^'t'^'" 
were still in that State, one of them being commanded by ^:^^' ^'' 
Colonel Abraham Sheppard. It being resolved to raise a 
new continental battalion, Sheppar<l was appointed colonel 
of it, and he was directed to select his own officers and 
recruit his men. He had been Caswell's lieutenant-colonel 
at Alamance, had commanded the Dobbs militia with Cas- 
well at Moore's Creek, and was in service on the Cape Fear 
under General Ashe. He was regarded as particularly effi- 
cient, and Caswell reposed the highest coniidence in him. 

Eventuallv, after a session of a month, in the course of 
which the new State was launched with its officers and laws, 
suited to the c'langed conditions, the Assembly adjourned. 

Conditions within the State 

The counties now became organized with their courts, s"r!.'xY, 
justices, clerks, sherifi's. registrars and other officers, and ^^^ 
there was a general feeling of stability, and that the nev/ 
government was permanently established. But yet the 
inhabitants were liv no means of one mind on the subject 
of independence. Disaft'ection manifested itself more or 521.523; 5^0 
less in every community. In July there were Tories in 
arms in Surrv, and troul)le in Guilford; and in that month 
the Council of State, writing to General Rutherford, told 
him that they could not send any troops from the Hillsboro 
brigade, as he "well knew how many disaffected persons 
reside in that district and neighborhood." 

Indeed, this was a time of fearful commotion and anxious 
solicitude in many parts of the State. A test oath being 


^IJl required of all citizens, and those refusing to take it bein- 

May ordered to depart the State within sixty days, a dread alter- 

native was presented that brought sorrow and lamentations. 

The Tories Deplorable in the extreme was the situation of a great num- 
ber of inhabitants who determined to abandon their homes 
.,, and become wanderers on the face of the earth rather than 
engage in what they considered unjustiiiable rebellion. A 
very large part of Cumberland, estimated at two-thirds of 
■■ the count}', prepared to leave the State, and in other com- 
munities considerable numbers had the same gloomy pros- 

s. R'2^i- pects. The Scotch refused to take the oath almost to a 
man. They preferred exile to renouncing their allegiance ; 
and being much exasperated, they became very trouijlesome. 

S34. 5^ 

\. The salt riots 

'' The interruption of regular commerce resulted in general 
privation of the necessaries of life. Chief among the indis- 
pensable articles for domestic use was salt, and of this there 
was a scarcity. The first highways known to history were 
'•- made by the denizens of the interior seeking the seashore 
■" for this commodity. The human system himgers for it, and 
'' wdien the supply among the inhabitants of the interior ran 
short they fell into great commotions — the people demanded 
salt and would have it; and now began a disturbance that 
^' might well be denominated the salt riot. The State had 
a quantity stored at Cross Creek for the use of the public, 
s R,xi. and thither bodies of men began to congregate. It was 
etsef. reported that a thousanrl assembled in Orange alone, and 

June crowds gathered in Duplin, Guilford, Chatham and other 

counties with such a threatening aspect that an alarming 
insurrection was feared. It was apprehended that the ulti- 
mate purpose was to seize the military stores at Wilmington. 
Colonel Williams, in command of the continentals at Hali- 
fax, and Colonel Sheppard, whose Tenth Regiment was at 
Kinston, were directed to move on Cross Creek, and Gen- 
eral Ashe v/as ordered to call out the militia of that district. 
The rising, however, seems only to have been with a view 
of taking the salt, and it was that which drew together the 
crowds in the disaffected territory. 
s^R.. XI, Q^ j^^y ^Qjj^ ^ j^QJ^ Qf Q^Q hundred and forty persons 


from Duplm and Johnston entereil Cross Creek, but Robert 'I'l 

Rowan met them with his company, and having required J^'>y 
them to take the oath, sold them salt at $5 per bushel. Five 
hundred more came in somewhat later, and probably were 
appeased in the same way. 

The task of the patriots 

Just at the same time, July, 1777, a conspiracy was dis- s^ R- >^i- 
covered among the eastern Tories to rise and fall upon tneir 
neighbors. "I am sorry to inform you," wrote Colonel Irwm 
to Governor Caswell, "that many evil persons in Edgecombe 
and the neighboring counties have been joined in a most 
wicked conspiracv. About thirty of them made an attempt 
on Tarboro, but luckilv I had about twenty-five men to op- 
pose them, and I disarmed the whole and made many take 
the oath." 

Had there been more unanim.ity, the task ot the patriot 
leaders had been easier; but their daring, their constancy, 
and fortitude would not have entitled them so thoroughly 
to the gratitude and admiration of succeeding generations. 
Notwithstanding- the division in sentiment of the inhabitants, 
it is to the honor of the public men of that period that no 
man who had been honored with the confidence of the people 
flinched when the test came or failed to move forward 
through the gloom and obscurity of the doubtful and hazard- 
ous issue. They doubtless felt as Franklin in the Conti- 
nental Congress 'expressed it, "we must all hang together, or 
we will be sure to hang separately." 

There were, however, two Englishmen who, after the s.^^- ^^• 
formation of the State government, withdrew their support 
from the cause. One. William Brimage. of Edenton, was Urimage 
appointed bv Governor Caswell to hold the court of oyer in 
March. He declined, and not long afterward planned an 
insurrection, proposing to join the British vessel at Ocra- 
coke. For this he was arrested. The other prominent in- 
habitant who fell from the cause was John Slingsby. a mer- siingsby 
chant of Wilmington, who at first entered zealouslv into the 
revolutionarv m.easures, but subsequently adhered to the 
Crown, and' in 1781 was colonel of the Loyalist militia of 
Bladen, and lost his life at the battle of Elizabethtown. 

5>-8 C.lSir ELL'S .IDMLXLSTRATIOX, 1776-80 

»777 Johnston dissatisfied 

J"'^ Samuel Johnston, although always true to the cause, was 

much dissatisfied with the form of government, and doubt- 
less suffered mortification at his treatment by the people of 
Chowan. Governor Caswell offered to appoint him to hold 
the court of oyer in the Edenton district, but Johnston ques- 
tioned Caswell's right to make the appointment. The legis- 

s. R , XI l^ture in April re-elected him one of the state treasurers, but 

488,504 he declined, saying: "Tn the infancy of our glorious struggle, 
when the minds of many were unsettled and doubtful of 
the event, I jovfully accepted every appointment that was 
offered by my fellow-citizens, and readily stood forth to give 
testimony of my concurrence and approbation of every meas- 
ure which tends to the security of the most inestimable 
rights of mankind; at this period, when the constitution of 
■•; this State is happily, and, I flatter myself, permanently es- 
tablished, when all doubts and apprehensions are entirely 
removed. . . . I . . . request . . . the favor of being per- 
mitted to decline that very honorable and lucrative appoint- 
ment." The cause of his declination was deep-seated. He 
'-'" was dissatisfied, mortified, and doubtless animated bv resent- 
[■' ment. The people had framed a government without his 
aid. and he had been treated by the inhabitants of his own 
! ; county as if he were an odious character. Two months 
'■. after he declined the treasureship he wrote to Dr. Burke: 
'T have had an opportunity of seeing an experiment of the 
new legislature, and am as little pleased with it in practice 
as I was formerly in theory, and am still of opinion that 
though your plan might, for aught I know\ be well adapted 
to the government of a numerous, cultivated people, it will 
by no means be attended with those salutary ends which 
were in the contemplation of its framers."' He characterized 
many of the representatives as "fools and knaves, who by 
their low arts have worked themselves into the good graces 
of the populace." "I saw with indignation such men as 
Griffith Rutherford, Thomas Person, and your colleague, 
J. Penn, . . . principal leaders in both houses, you will not 
expect that anything good or great . . . from the counsels 
of men of such narrow, contracted principle, supported by 


the most cr.ntcmptil)le abilities. licwes was su[)planted ... 'JJZ 

in congress by the most insidious arts ami glaring falsehoods, J"'y 
and Hooper, though no competitor appeared to oppose him, 
lost a great number of votes." He concludes: "I am now 
out of office and totally abstracted from all political con- 
cerns." But in less than two years his resentment was molli- 
fied, and he again took his place in the Assembly as senator 
from Chowan, and in the dark days of the war he put forth 
his best efforts f(,^r success. 

Loyalists depart 

Throughout th.e i)rovince. however, there were large num- 
bers of local standing who remained fixed in their opposi- 
tion to the new government. These malcontents interfered 
with the recruiting and were a menace to the public peace, '*' 
threatening the magazines in the different sections of the 
State, and it was desirable to free the inhabitants from their 
influence. Toward the last of July a large vessel sailed from 
New Bern having on board a great number of Tories with 656,76=; ' 
their wives and families, chiefly Scotchmen. Among the ^'^^' ^^^ 
passengers were ]\Iartin Howard, th.e late chief justice of the 
province, and his wife and daughter. Since the beginning 
of hostilities he had been living quietly in seclusion on his 
plantation. Richmond, in Craven County. October 27th an- 
other transport sailed from Xew Bern for Jamaica, hav- 
ing on hoard Tohn Hamilton and his brother Archibald, of The 

tt' 1-- 1 " 11-1 T T /-> n.iniiltrns 

Hahtax, and many other Scotchmen. In January (_iovernor 
Alartin wrote from X'ew York that many refugees from 
North Carolina had arrived there, "among them John Hamil- 
ton and Mr. }iIacLeod. the former a merchant of considerable 
note, long settled there, and the latter a Presbyterian clergy- 
man of good character, v/ho have formed a very spirited 
. . . and well-concerted plan by drawing out of that prov- 
ince for his ^Majesty's service the loyal Highlanders, of 
whom they have two hundred and seventy odd men actually 
under the most solemn engagements to join them on a sum- 
mons." Later these men wore embodied in a regiment tni- 
der Hamilton's command, and were actively engaged during 
the war. 

'So CASll'ELL-S .lD}[IXISTRATIOX, 1776-80 

'777 Arrival of Lafayette 

Jiiiy In July, while the continental battalions were being: filleil 

at Halifax, there passed through that villag-e a bevy oi 
French officers who had just landed at Georgetown. S. C, 
and were making their way to the headquarters of Gen- 
eral Washington, being the first practical indications of 
French sympathy with the colonies in their struggle for inde- 

s. R., XI. pendence. the forerunners of that great assistance which 

^'* later brought the war to its glorious close at Yorktown. On 

July i8th Major Ashe wrote to Caswell : "I haven't any news 
to write your Excellency, only th't one of the royal bloods 

Lafayette qj Fraucc ( thc Marquis de Lafayette), recommended by 
Mr. Franklin. pas>ed this [place] a few days since, on his 
way to the Grand Army." Lafayette at that time was not 
twentv years of age. but at once he Inirst on the American 
horizon as a star of the first magnitude, and the glory of his 
name approaches that of the great Washington. 

Ocracoke Inlet 

The, , British cruisers imdertook to close the channel of com- 

merce through Ocracoke Inlet, but many vessels still came 
in bringing salt, ammunition, and other needed supplies, and 
privateers were constantly sallying forth to prey on British 
commerce. Among those fitted out at New Bern were the 

S.R.. XI, ^i^^^^y Beggar and the Xancy. while at Wilmington the 
General Washington was equipped as an armed vessel for 
the State. 

In the middle of September two large English frigates 

g j^ jjj suddenly appeared at Ocracoke. where many vessels lay 

6'4 " ' reatlv to sail. They took several, particularly a large French 
brig, but the most of the fleet escaped by returning into 
Neuse River. The British tars then made capture of the fat 
mutton on the banks ; but the Sturdy Beggar, fourteen gims, 
and Pennsyiiania Farmer, sixteen guns, at once sailed to 
clear the harbor. 

s. R.. XI, The Continental Line joins the Grand Army 
"a" ^^' On July ist the long march of Xash's brigade came to 

i-he brigade an end, and it went into quarters at Trenton. This addition 
Ivashington to Washington's army was important, adding largely to its 
strength and enabling him to present a bold front to Corn- 

DEATil or CaXlIRlL XASII 581 

wallis. who threatened Phihclelphia from the Elk. To form mz 

a corps to hover about the enemy and give him all liie annoy- J^^'y 
ance possible. \\'ashins::ton now ori;anizcd a hs^ht division, 
composed in part of a hundred men taken from the North 
Carohna brigade, under Colonel Martin, tlie con.mand being 
bestowed on Major-General Maxwell. The h'-;gade itself Luhr 
was assigned to General Sullivan's division, anti jiarticipated ^'^'-"°" 
in the battle of Brandywine, September nth; but the man- 
agement was so wretcl'.ed that none of the brigades in Sul- .^o^^^^ef "^' 
livan's division won great renown. Colonel [Martin's de- 
tach.ment had better fortune. Maxwell held his position at 
Chad's Ford with remarkable tenacity, and particularly did 
Captain Jacob Turner, of the Third Battalion, greatly dis- 
tinguish himself, bringing honor to his corps.* 

At the battle of Germantown. October 4th, the brigade qH ^th, 
had a better opportunity of displaying its courage, and its [^tviT^"* 
vigorous conduct was highly iionorable to the State. Xash's 
and Maxwell's brigades supported those of Sullivan and 
Wayne that led the attack on the centre. They were sue- ^_ r., xi, 
cessful from tiie beginning, drove the cnem\' pell-mell 
in their front and pressed on resolutely through the long and 
straggling village of Germanto\\n. Eventually they routed {v^'^lfing. 
the British left, which had made a stand against their on- "•'"- '^i. ^^* 
slaught. Xash's brigade was on the extreme right, and 
gained a more advanced position than any other of the 
American troops. The victory was won when an untoward 
incident changed the face of affairs. A great fog prevailed, 
and at a point some three iniles from where the engagement 
began Wayne's division, on Xash's left, mistook some of 
General Greene's troops, who formed Washington's left 
wing and were approaching from that direction, for a large 
British force on their flank. Alarmed at their supposed 
peril, thev broke and could not be rallied. Their flight from 
the front turned victory into disaster. The British renewed 
the contest with spirit. The brigades of Xash and Sullivan, 
far in advance, unsupported and threatened on both ilanks, 
were compelled to withdraw. The army retired many miles, 
pursued by the enemy. 

*Hiigh McDonald, whose diary has been preserved, was apparently 

a nicniber of Colonel Martin'.- detachment with General Maxwell. 


'2J1 The Xorth Carolinians suffered heavilv. How many ..( 

the rank and tile were killed and wounded N.-a> not reports!, 
but the loss was ,-:iroat. Amon.c: tl^-e ut'ticers. General 
n..athof ^^'ash. Colonel Polk, Colonel lUuKombe. Colonel Irwin. Caj.- 
N'^-h tain Jacob Turner, and Captain Lucas, adjutant of the 

Third, fell on the field of battle. Colmel Polk, althon-ii 
badly wounded, fortunately recovered. Colonel Hojjun. wIm 
particularly distin^2:uished himself, escaped. Colonel Bun- 
combe, badly wounded, was conveyed from the field, where 
he was found by an acquaintance in the British armv, to 
I'hiladelphia, and died from his wounds shortlv afterward. 
A cannon ball passed throug-li the horse General Xash was 
ridin,^^ and tore throu,<,di his lee. also killins^ Major James 
N°c"i'ii ^^ '^'•^^^P'-'"-'"' an 'liJe of General ^laxwell. As he fell. Xash 
3oi " ' called to his men: "Xever mind me. Pve had a devil of a 
j tumble : rush on, my boys ; rush on the enemy : I will be after 

1 yo" presently." He was borne faintinq- from the field and 

i died, after linj^ering- in great a^rony for three davs. He 

: was interred in the Mennonite Churchyard at Culpsville, Pa. 

f His death was truly lamented. It was a sad blow to his 

,' ■ brigade, the men and officers alike having the greatest con- 

'. fidence in him and affection for him. At home, when the 

legislature met. it put on record a memorial of his worth 
and virtues, made an appropriation to erect a marble monu- 
. mcnt in his honor, and created a county, called by his name, 

to perpetuate his memory. On Xash's «leath. congress not 
being ready to appoint additional generals, the command 
of the brigade was assigned by Washington to General ]\Ic- 
Intosh, of Georgia. 

The new battalions 

6u^72^\i3 After Xash moved north, the first efforts of the authorities 
were directed to filling the ranks of the older regiments, but 
these efforts were measurably checked by the activitv of those 
officers who were seeking to enlist men for the Seventh, 
Eighth and Xinth battalions, upon whose prompt completion 
depended their commissions. Wh.ile th.e officers of Shep- 
pard's Tenth battalion oft'ered the additional inducement 
that that battalion was for local service, and would not have 
to leave the State, numerous recruiting officers, represent- 

RRCRi'lTlXG 583 

ing every rcg'iment and company, were scouring; the State. ^ 

The first impulse of patriotic ardor had somewhat subsided, 
and recruitinc,^ for the war proceeded but slowly. The camp 
at Halifax was left in char>:;-e of Colonel John Williams, and 

... ... ~ . 1111 .- ^^ illiams's 

as rapidly as possible recruits were collected and sent tor- B..ttaiion 
ward in detachm.ents. and eventually, on September ist, 
Colonel Williams l^roke camp and moved the entire force 
northward to join tlie Grand Army. In July, likewise, 
Colonel Slieppard's reginient was taken into the jiay of the 
Continental Congress and also ordered north. 


^ Caswell's Administration, 1776-80 — Continued. 

\ The second session of the Assembly. — Articles of confederation — 

f Valley Forge. — Supplies from Xorth Carolina. — The North Carniui.i 

f line destitute. — Feeling in England. — Treaty with France. — The soc 

' ond Assembly. — Ur. Burke in congress. — The battalions con-olid.-iud 

[ — Nine months' Continentals. — Defection prevalent. — The Norlli 

f, Carolina brigade. — The judges appeal to the people. — At the ad- 

r journed session. — For the southern campaign. — Importations con 

[ tinued. — The fall of Savannah. — Militia for the South. — Ashe sur- 

\ prised at Briar Creek. — Boyd's defeat. — Light horse at the North. 

f — Sumner and Hogun brigadiers. — The hardships of the officers.— 
Prices and ta.xes. — Internal perils. — r^Iovements of troops. — Battle 

i' of Stony Point. — The second Ass-embly. — Efforts to increase the (V'li 

I tinental force. — Tory movements. — Battle of Stono. — Davie wounded. 

J ■ — Battle at Savannah. — Hogun's brigade ordered South. 

i The second session of the Assembly 

s^T" xii ^''"'*^ A.-;.-^eml)ly recoinened in Xovember and again ^at a 

; 114.418 month. It established superior courts, electing Saniucl 

I ■ Ashe, Samuel Spencer, and James Iredell the judges, ami 

' ' Waightstill Avery the attorney-general. Courts for the 

i trial of civil causes that had been suspended since 1773 were 

■ xxiv, 123 tl^"^ reo[)ened in the spring of 1778. Many important 

; _ measures engaged the attention of the Assembly. It being 

I represented that a large force would probal)ly be needed 

; ' at the north, the legislature empowered the governor to 

I draft five thousand militia, and to command them himself, 

i or to appoint a major-general in his place. 

In the Continental Congress Dr. Burke had been j^ar- 
ticularly active and very efficient. He communicated to the 
governor full details of the proceedings of the congress 
and of his action on the various measures proposed, his 
s R XL letters being in the highest degree creditable to him. He 
380-389,417 participated largely in the discussion upon the articles ot 
confederation and transmitted a brief of the argument. 
These articles were laid before the General Assembly at its 


November session, and that l)ody declined to ratify the 'J^j 

entire instrument. As the Provincial Congress had rejected N'ovemb-r 
Franklin's nlan two years earlier, so now the Assembly was 
careful about entering into any agreement with the other 
states that m.ight injuriously aflfect the rights of the people. 
Indeed, the permanency of the connection v.dtli the other ^•^^•'^''• 
colonies was so far from being regarded as finally estab- 
lished that in the state constitution it was provided that the 
delegates to the Continental Congress, ''while necessary," 
should be annually chosen. 

Although Johnston ascril;ed to General Person a con- 
trolling direction of the house, yet the few records of the 
ayes and nays preserved in the journals of that body indicate 
that that leader of the democrats was frequently in the 
minorit}'. He proposed without avail a tax reduction and a ^^i^xxVv 
reduction in the com.pensation of the governor; and sim- '41-144 
ilarly other movements in the way of seeking popular favor 
appear to have been defeated. Honors were paid to Gen- 
eral Nash, for whom a new county was named: and a 
coimty also was nam.ed in honor of V\ iikes ; and Washing- 
ton district beyond the mountains, whicli had been accorded 
representation in the Provincial Congress and in that 
Asseml)ly. was now converted into a county. For purposes 
of intercourse with it a pu])lic road was directed to be 
constructed across the mountains leading into Burke. 

A fort was Imilt at Ocracoke, and one of the row-galleys, 
named the CaszvcU. was purchased from the State of \'ir- 
ginia for the better protection of the commerce through that 
inlet. Commissioners were appointed also to repair Fort 
Johnston and build a new fort commanding the bay at Point 
Lookout. The academy at Charlotte was revived under the 
name of Lil^erty Hall, and early in 1778 trustees were ap- 
pointed to establish a similar aca<1emy in the ncighborhoo'i 
of Hillsboro. Toward the end of the session some friction 
appears to have arisen between the two houses, especially 
over the election law. but eventually the house concurred 
with the senate and passed th.e act fixing the time of the 
annual meeting on April ist and rendering ineligible dele- 
gates to the general congress and certain other officers. To \^{{- 
take the place of the old-time vestries, the freemen in the 


UJl counties were directed to elect overseers of tiic poor aii.l 

December countv wardcHS. and this change marked the nnal sejjara- 
tion of church and State. 

Colonel Sheppard had been so dilatory in moving the 
Tenth Regiment to the north that a legislative conunittci- 
investigated the causes of his inaction, and although some 
excuse was found in the dearth of supplies, on the wlu'le 
s R XII '■^^'"' ^'"'"^"'''''^'^^'^ reported that his reasons were frivolous and 
J34 ' ' ' insufhcient ; and toward the end of Xovembcr he was again 
instructed to join the Grand Army. 

Valley Forge 

1777-1773 That winter, the British having occupied, Philadelphia. 

. . General Washington went into winter quarters at \'alley 

Forge, tv/enty-three miles west of that city. There the nine 
North Carolina battalions passed the winter subjected tu 
the most trying vicissitudes. Terrible, indeed, were the 
,-■■, sufferings of all the troops in that famous encampment. 

While for the most part the army remained in their canton- 
ments, a special corps was organized for rapid march to 
harass the British outposts and keep in check their forag- 
ing parties. The returns show that about one-half the 
North Carolinians fit for duty were engaged in these com- 

s. R., XI, mands outside of the regular quarters. As the season ad- 

' ''^°^ vanced with its unusual severity, the unhappv situation an.i 

destitute condition of the North Carolina line called for 

Supplies vigorous measures of relief. The onlv communication was 

from North , , - . . , , 1 • 

Carolina to thc southward, and except such provision and clothing as 
could be obtained from the unwilling Pennsylvanians, the 

^ ,..,, , army had to be furnished from \'irginia and North Caro- 
lina, and Governor Caswell was unremitting in his endeavors 
to provide needed supplies. Nov/ the value of Ocracokc 

s^R., XIII. became still more apparent. Governor Martin wrote in 
January from New York to Lord Germain: "The contempt- 
ible port of C)cracoke . . . has become a great channel of 
supply to the rebels. . . . They have received through it 
very . . . considerable im[')ortations." To close that inlet a 
British ship of war, two sloops, a brig, and privateersmen 
from New York and England hovered along the coa>t. 
charged with the duty of capturing American vessels. But, 


on the otlicr liand, efforts were matle to drive tliem off, and U^_ 

in addition to the fortifications and state ves>els, the Xew December 
Bern merchants fitted out the Bclloia, carrying eighteen 
guns, and the Chatham to make reprisals. To pay for im- 
ported goods, tobacco was shipped to foreign countries, tiie 
State purchasing and sending out large quantities of that 
commodity. Salt bri:)ught in by the State was exchanged for 
pork, and Caswell employed men in every section packing 
pork for Washington's army. All sorts of skins and ^^^^^'H^"' 
leathers and ail cloths fit for blankets were likewise ob- vaiwy 
tained for the soldiers, sometimes resort being had to im- 
pressment. In the Albemarle section, where there were so 
many industrious Quakers, large quantities of shoes were 
manufactured, and these were purchased not only for the 
army, but by northern merchants, who paid high prices for 
thern. Importations v/ere also made on account of the^Con- fg/^;;^",'; 
tinental Congress, and these supplies were stored at South ^'^^'^f- 
Quay, on the" Blackwater. From there they were moved by 
wagons to \'alley Forge. }»Ieans of transportation were 
limited, and at length four brigades of wagons were sent 
from Pennsylvania to haul stores from Edenton and South 
Quay for the use of the army, and these supplies contributed 
to relieve the sufferings which the soldiers had so unmur- 
muringly endured. On February 15th Caswell wrote: "I 
find our nine regiments . . . very far . . . short of their 
complement of men, and those in camp almost destitute of 
clothing. . . . The officers of the Sixth P.attalion are 
sent home as supernumeraries. ... I am to buy leather, 
skins, shoes and other clothing, procure manufacturers, set 
them to work, purchase salt and provisions, and procure 
boats and wagons for sending those articles on. All this I 
am constantly, almost busily, employed about myself, re- 
ceiving verv little assistance." 

Earlv in 'March General :\IcIntosh reported that of the ^__^ 
North Carolina line at X'alley Forge since January 50 had s'.'r.,^xiii, 
died in cam.p ; that 200 were then sick in camp, and an equal ^^^' •*' 
number were in hospitals in Pennsylvania and Xew Jersey. JheNmh 
The number then at \'alley forge was 900; in ]\Iay there troops 
were iioo i:>riva!e>, while of rank and file there were 1450. 
Colonel Sheppard's regiment, having lingered in North 

5'"^?^ C.lSn'iILL\S JDMIXISTR.ITIOX, ijjo-So 

UZ Carolina until cold weather set in. spent tin- ninter iti t' > 

iiecemLer smallpox camp at Georgetown. Md.. where niore died wn; 

measles than from the effects of innoculation. 

That winter was indeed terrible to the patriots ; but w 
was also disconi fortius;- to the British. Burg-oyne's eniir'- 
Treit-with ^'^-'^y ^^''i^'incr surrendered m October, that general reacln.'; 
France England in December, and such was the gioom and (!■,• 

spondency in Great Britain that there was much sentinic!!! 
in favor of a cessation of the war. In tlie House wi' 
Commons only ^t^ majority was cast against assentiti.: 
et- 1777 ^Q |-|,g independence of America. Lord North . in urgiiv.: 
money for anotiier campaign, declared as the alternati\i- 
that they would have to furnish money to bring the tnvij;, 
home. This fa\ora1ile news gave great hope throughout the 
colonies ; and then in ]\Iay came the treaty with France, 
followed quickly by the declaration of war by France again.-i 
-\ England and the promise of an immense fleet and four thou- 

sand veteran trrops to end the struggle. When a copy "f 
•, this treaty reaclie i Xew Bern it was immediatel}- publisln-l 

under a displa}' of American and French colors and a triple 
1 discharge of thirteen pieces of cannon by the town compan\ 

: . of militia, mustered for that purpose. And as the Gazette 

s. R„ XIII, quaintly remarked: "Universal joy appeared in every coun- 
tenance, great plenty of liquor was given to the populacv. 
v^^■ .-, and the evening concluded with great good humor and social 


The second Assembly 

1778 The new Assembly met on April 14th at New Bern, Whit- 

mel Hill being chosen s[)eaker of the senate and Judge John 
Williams speaker of tlie house. Among the new memlK'r> 
was James Hunter, who now co-operated heartily witbi the 
Whigs. Governor Caswell gave a full account of public 
matters in a message to the legislature. He was again 
elected governor, and the other members of the council were 
re-elected, Richard Flenderson taking the place vacated by 

New Harnett. A new comity was formed and named in honor 

of the victor over ]^>urgoyne. General Gates ; another in 
honor of Willie Jones: others for Montgomery and Ran- 
dolph, while tb.e names of Bute and Tryon were obliterated. 

S. R., XII 




and those counties were respectively <liviiled into Franklin IZJ^ 

and Warren and Lincoln and Rutherford. 

On the death of General ]\Ioore, Dr. Burke, instead of fg^fr's^^' 
recommending one of the Xorth Carolina colonels to fill ihe 
vacancy, urged the appointment of Colonel Hand, of Penn- 
svlvania. a gallant Irishman, his action in that matter calling 
forth a vigorous protest and remonstrance from the Xorth 
Carolina ofticers. At the annual election in April he was 
not chosen a deputw Al)ner Xash heing elected in his place. 
Xash, however, declined, and John Williams, of Granville, 
the speaker, was then elected, Thomas Benbury becoming 

But if Burke lost favor because of this incident, he soon 
re-established himself in the affections of Xorth Carolinians. 
At the very time he was denied a re-election his action at 
Philadelphia was so patriotic that he gained renewed favor. 
A majority of the congress had drawn a commumcation to 87, 105,' 2^' 
General Washington which Dr. Burke thought contained 
an unmerited reflection on that general, and he combated 
it with great warmth, and with indignation retired from 
the chamber, his withdrawal breaking the C[uorum. On 
beinsf sent for, he expressed himself so vehementlv to the Dr. Bnrk-e 
messenger that congress considered his action a contempt deiphia 
of that body. He explained that he did not understand that 
the congress had sent for him, and offered some apology. 
His explanations, however, did not satisfy the irate mem- 
bers, and then Burke manfully reasserted his |)osition. 
caused the matter to be fully spread on the records, and 
claimed that he was responsible only to the legislature of 
Xorth Carolina. The record of the proceedings being sub- 
mitted to the next session of the Assembly, that body ap- 
proved his course, and again elected him a delegate in 
congress. For a time, however, he was retired, and when 
the articles of confederation were ratified on behalf of Xorth ^onfedera- 
Carolina, on July 21, 1778, they were signed by John tion r.-itined 
Williams. John Penn, and Cornelius Harnett. 

The Assembly took measures for filling up the continental 
battalions ; but on May 29th congress resolved that the bat- 
talions in camp should be consolidated, and a call was made 
on the State to raise four additional ones, wdiich. however, 




S. R., XI. 




S. R.. 

The nine 



S. R., XII, 


were to remain at home until ordered elsewhere. Pnrsu.'Mi'. 
to this resolution, the battalions in service were reduced :• 
tour. The Sixth, orig:i"a'ly commanded by Lillini^ton. an ! 
later bv Colonel Lamb, was merg-ed with the First, of \\\\w\\ 
Thomas Clark was colonel. The Fourth, commantj. '! 
bv Colonel I'olk. was merited with the .^ecoud, Coli^ii-; 
Patten remaining colonel. The Fifth was mtrged with 
the Third, Colonel Sumner continuing in comman-!. 
Colonel Martin had resigned the previous fall; Colmu-l 
Folk now resigned, and Colonel Hogun and the super- 
numerary officers, of whom there were a large num- 
ber, were directed to return to Xorth Carolina for service 
in the new battalions when raised. Efforts to obtain re- 
cruits under the system of volunteering, even with the large 
bounties otTered, proved unavailing, and the legislature di- 
rected that twenty-six hundred men should be detached frmn 
the militia to serve in the continental army for nine months. 
These were known as the "nine months" men." A certain 
quota was apportioned to each county, and this number was 
again apportioned by the colonel of the county among the 
militia companies, so that every militia company in the State 
had to furnish its proper share of these troops. It was the 
same system that had been devised for calling out militia- 
men. \'olunteers from each company were first to be calloii 
for, and to these a bountv of $100 was ottered; and then, to 
make up the deficiency in its quota, each company by ballot. 
selected the other men, and these were to receive a bounty 
of $50. Every one so selected became a continental, and 
those who faithfully served for nine months were to be 
exempt from any military service for a period of three years. 
All through May and June the militia companies were as- 
sembling in the various counties and making their selec- 
tions of nine months" men, and thus again the war was 
brought to the very homes of the people. In many com- 
munities there was great opposition, for defection was pain- 
fully prevalent. In Rowan Captain Johnston was appointed 
to adminster the oath of allegiance to the inhabitants of hi- 
district. They attended at the time and place advertised, 
but when the oath was read and proposed to them, one of 
the company hurrahed for "King George," whereupon about 


a hundred withdrew in a riotous, turbulent manner ; and ^ 

when the captain undertook to raise the quota of nien re- 
quired of his company he found that the majority were 
Tories, and that the disaffected element controlled the draft. 
In many other sections the condition was not far ditferent. 
It was with difficulty tliat the law could l)e enforced, and 
the drafted men responded but slowly. Those from the 
eastern counties were to assemble at Halifax, while those 
from the west were to i)roceed to Pa\tonsburg. in \'irginia, 
where Colonel Thackston was in command. Boards of con- 
tinental officers convened at Halifax and ]\Ioore's Creek to 
arrang-e officers for tl:ie new battalions, and Colonel Hogun 
was elected to command the first that should be organized. 
In July his regiment was sufficiently organized at Halifax ^,,,J^" ^'^'' 
for him to march, and he moved northward with six hundred 

The three consolidated regiments and Colonel Sheppard's s. r., xiii. 
Tenth Regiment had been thrown into "the North Carolina ^^' 
Briirade," Colonel Clark being in command, and were with 
Washington when, at the end of June, he attacked Sir Henry v.ri'^adeat 
Clinton at ^vlonmouth. They did not form a part of Lee's ^onmo^th 
advanced corps that made the disorderly retreat at the be- 
ginning of the engagement, but under Lord Sterling they 
held the left of the second line and repulsed the enemy, and 
later were thrown forward close to the British right to renew 
the engagement. Xight, however, closed in, and under cover 
of darkness Clinton escaped. 

During tliat fall and winter the brigade remained with ^.^^- -'^'''• 
Washington at Fredericksburg, near the Connecticut line, 
while Colonel Hogun with his new regiment of six hundred Wo-un-it 

* '7 . , . ^ \\ est Point 

men was engaged in throwmg up fortihcations at West 
Point, which afterward became the fort so famous in history. 

The other companies of nine months' men in the summer 
of 1778 went into camp, some at Duplin Court House, some 
at Salisbury, at Hillsboro, and at Paytonsburg; but, con- 
gress having failed to send the bounty money, most of them 
were placed on furlough to remain at home until the ensuing 

As the clergy had urged the people forward, so now the 
bench sought to enforce constancy. Judge Iredell forcibly 

592 C.lSIl'ELLS AD\JIXISTRAT10.\. ijj6-So 

'J^ urged patriotism; and at the June term of the Wilminixton 

district Judge Ashe, in calhng the attention of the grand 
jury to crimes agam.^t the State, adverted to the spirit oi 

s. R., XIII, disal^'ection, saying: "When i consider our present tempiT 
and conduct and compare them with our past, I himent our 

Reanimat- dcpravitv. When the accursed plan to enslave us was iir-i 

ing the "^ - _ ' 

people formed and read}' to be enforced against us, a noble s[)irit 

animated us, our resentment kindled, every age and onU-r 
of men glowed with zeal: each became emulous who should 
succeed in resisting the encroachment: to effect it all seemcl 
determined to venture everything: no danger was tliought 
too hazardous, no difficulty was too great. Then were com- 
panies formed and trained in every neighborhood ; . . . the 
example was forcible, our \-ouths catch noble passion ; nay, 
our children of a few years old imbibe it. But, alas ! how 
are we changed of late ; that noble spirit no longer inspires 
us ; the cele>tial tire is extinguished, the tiame ceases, it 
glows no more. We have suffered a fa>cinating spirit of 
;. avarice and extortion to take place instead. . . . Lamentable 

defection! Strange infatuation! Can we think the eager 
,( pursuit of riches will preserve us? ... Or is there no dan- 

,. ger because the enemy are not instantly at our doors? . . . 

Our fate is inseparably linked with our sister Siates. If 
they fall we perish. America united stand or fall 
together. . . . For God's sake, then, let us rouse from our 
supineness ! Let that spirit which at tirst animated us re- 
vive. . . . Let the love of our country rise superi<ir to the 
. . . base passion for gain. In a word, let us ado[)t an etjual 
spirit, an eijual love of liberty and firmness, with the brave 
Corsicans. who, oppressed by Genoese tyranny, in their mili- 
tary oath thus solemnly swore : "That we will sooner die than 
enter into any negotiation with the Republic of Genoa or 
return under its yoke.' " Every opportunity to impress the 
people was seized by the patriots to strengthen the cause. 
X778 In August there was a short ses>ion of the Assembly held 

The at Hillsboro. Because attendance on the congress brought 

eegation ^^ niany deprivations, it was resolved to increase the num- 
ber of deputies to five, requiring that three should always 
be present, while the other two could be on leave at their 
homes. Whitmel Hill, the speaker of the senate, and Thomas 


Burke were elected as additional members, and Allen Jones ^ 

succeeded Hill as ?r>eaker of the senate. James Iredell, 
one of the judges, having resigned. Richartl tleuiierson was 
elected in his stead, but he did not accept, and Archibald 
Maclaine was then chosen. A new issue of £850,000 was 
ordered to discharge all debts, and with the hope of counter- 
acting the efforts made by disailected persons to depreciate 
the bills of credit, which were now rapidly falling in value. 

In the earl\- autumn it became evident that the southern The South 

,. threatened 

campaign threatened the year betore was to become a reality, 
and South Carolina called loudly for assistance, and urged 
that congress should ask Caswell himself to command the 
troops sent by North Carolina to her aid. In response con- 
gress called on the State for three thousand men for service 
at the south: and Caswell, with his accustomed zeal, at once 
entered on the work of organizing and preparing this force. ,^ , 

^ > ' ' •- Oct. 10, 177S 

He ordered out the nine months' continentals, who were 
then on furlough, and called on the generals of the militia 
brigade to send forward their quotas for this expedition. 

General Allen Jones, however, and many others as well. ^-^R-. ^ciii. 
interposed objections, saying that Caswell had no authority 
to send the militia from the State; and the want of harmony 
led to great delay in drafting the men. 

Importations continued, and in January there were impcrt.-i- 
brought in on the ship Holy Heart of Jesus twenty-three 
pieces of heavv cannon, to pay for wdiich a hundred and 
forty hogsheads of tobacco were necessary, and the agent of 5 ^ y^^^^^ 
the State. Robert Salter, was directed to buy enough tobacco ^<i- 
for that purpose. 

Indeed, privateering as a commercial venture was carried 
on with great energy. In the spring of 1779 Captain Eiddle 
sent out the Eclipse, fourteen guns: Captain Snoaye. the 
Rainhozi' and the Fanny, each fourteen guns : while Captain 
Ellis had three ships at sea taking prizes : and about the 
middle of ^^lay it was reported that five vessels had come into 
New P.ern with valuable cargoes. The more readily to im- 
port military supplies, the Assembly appointed commissioners 
to purchase and hire swift ships for the State, and Colonel 
Benjamin Hawkins was empowered as state agent to con- 
duct that business. He was to buy and export tobacco and 



s. R., xiir. 

pork, and. going- abroacl, was to purchase the needed mihtar' 
suppHes. Xotuith.standing the doubtful issue of the stru<~"d 
at that time, the State already had some credit abroad, and 
Colonel Hawkins was directed to borrow £20,000 sterlin^^ in 
the West Indies for state purposes. 

General How e, who had been promoted by congress to tlic 
Howe in ''■'^'■^^■■' of major-general, still remained in command of Georgi.-i 

Georgia ^^^^ South Carolina ; but he was not agreeable to the Soiith 
Carolina authorities, who found it irksome to be defended 
by a Xorth Carolinian, and application was made for his 
removal. So in September he was ordered to join Washing- 
ton, General Lincoln being directed to relieve him. In Xn- 
vember, as he was about to depart from Charleston, he. 
however, received an express from Georgia urging the im- 
minent danger of that State, and requesting his aid. Send- 
^^" ing forward v. hat troops could be spared, he hurried to 
Savannah to meet the invasion. He could muster but seven 
hundred and fifty men besides the Georgia militia. With 
these he took a position, dLcemed impregnable, about half a 
mile below the town, and was sangiune of repulsing the 
enemy. But the British commander. Colonel Campbell, 
directed a body of seven hundred infp.ntry, the guid- 
ance of a negro, to penetrate a swamp that had been thought 
impassable, and suddenl}- Howe found his position untenable. 
A brisk engagement ensued, and the Americans were com- 
pelled to retire. In this retreat the Georgia brigade ignored 
their general's orders and suffered severely. Driven from 
Savannah, Howe recrossed into South Carolina, intending°'" ^° protect Charleston. General Lincoln reached Xorth Caro- 

command hua in X'ovcmber. and urged that the inten<ied reinforce- 
ments for the southern army shoukl be hurried forwanl, 
indicating that arms and equipments, of which there was a 
great scarcity, could l)e furnished at Cliarleston. He arrived 

1779 at Howe's camp on January 2d. and Howe went north to 

the Grand Arm}-. 

s. R.,xiii, Caswell oft"ered the command of tlie detachment about to 

30, 55, 250, . 

23v be raised to General Ashe, who expressed a disinclination 

to accept it. But the governor insisted, saving that one or 
the other must go, and that the situation in the State ren- 
dered his own presence imperative. To remove an objection. 

MOffJir^XT or TROOPS 595 


lobn Ashe, 

he promised to perform personally Ashe;s duties as treasurer 
\Xe fin-.Hv Pccepte<l the commission ot major-sreneral. and J^^^^^ 
proceeded 'to or-anize the detachments as they reached .onerai 
ElizabethtONvn. where the drafts were directed to assemble. 
To f^U the vacancv made bv Ashe's promotion, on January ist 
Alexander Lillington was appointed brigadier-general ol the 

Cape Fear district. 

It becoming apparent that the British were to make a Aid. c>. the 
great ettort at the south, congress called on Xorth Uirohna 
to increase lier re-enforcements to five thousand, and Car^wcll 
ardemlv sought to respond. In addition to the eastern levies 
General Rutherford was <lirected to call out his brigade and 
reinforce Lincoln. The Indians had become hostile at the - R-- ^i". 
west, so that no troops could be drawn from beyond the 
mountains, but Rutherford hastily assembled some seven ^^^^^^^,^^^ 
hundred men, and toward the close of November began his 

march. . , 

Colonel Lamb was collecting the nine months continentals 
at the east and ^laior Lvtle at the west, while Sumner, the 
senior officer then in the State, had general supervision. 
Early in December Major Lytle, with a contingent of con- 
tinentals, joined Rutherford : but it was a month later betore 
Colonel Lamb crossed the Xeuse with two hundred more. 
and then he was detained at Kingston* several weeks waiting 
for other fletachments to come in : while Ashe was still de- Ashe 
layed at Elizabethtown. as only one-half of the militia drafts 
had assembled. Rutherford, being the i^rst to reach Charles- 
ton, was fortunate in obtaining a fair supply of arms, but 
the other militia detachments were so ill supplied as to give 
great concern. Caswell was convinced "that little service 
could be expected from them with what they have." W hen ^",Vhs"^ 
the A5seml)!y met. alxHit the middle of January, he reported '^°"»"'="'^i^ 
to that body that of the five ihousand troops desired by 
congress. he was fearful that not more than half had marched, 
and" those badly armed. The continentals were in better ^,^'^- ^"^• 
plight. Tliey were f.irmed into two battalions, Sumner being xiv. 43 
in command. 

*This name wa^ afterward changed to Kinston. 

;r,6 CASH' ELL'S .IDMLSLSTiWITlOX, 1776-80 

]J7_> Ashe defeated at Briar Creek 

February j\^^ Briti.^i. haviiig' taken Savannah, had estabhshed p...;. 

at Aug;usta and at various intermecHatc points on the river 
Toward the close of February, Iducuhi, with a cousiderabK 
force. \va^ on the South. Cari)hna side, near Savannah. 
Above him was Moukrie's camp, while Rutherford's brijiade 
was twenty miles below the point where Briar Creek emptirs 
into the river on the Georgia side. General Williamson, with 
twelve Inmdred South Carolina militia, was higher up toward 
33.iv, ^t^^' Augusta. Xotwithstandi'ig Ashe"s force was so badly 
ets.'q. equipped and only raw niditia, Lincoln selected it to make 

the first movement. By liis direction Ashe marched rapidly 
from the vicinity of Charleston, passed the other detach- 
'_• ments, and, leaving his baggage, hastened toward Augusta. 

' ' " On his approach the British evacuated that post and fell 
' ' '■ down the west bank of the river. Lincoln having ordereil 
;•'■ ' him to take position at Briar Creek, because of information 
as to the insecurity of that position Ashe advised him that 
February it was hazardous. But, crossing on the 25th, he vigorously 
pursued the retreating enemy, reaching Briar Creek on 
the 27th. His swift march and energetic action was well 
'" • in keeping with his decision of character. In the swam]) 
' ' at the forks, as ordered, he made his camp, fie directed 

' ■ ' his baggage to cross at a point some eight miles above, 
sending six hundred men under Colonel Smith to guard it, 
and he despatched four hundred men under Colonel Caswell 
'■ ■ ' beyond the creek to surprise an outlying British post. Sum- 
moned by Lincoln to attend a council of war at Rutherford's 
catTip, he left his army, now reduced to about six hundred 
men, under the conmiand of General Bryan, with whom was 
Colonel Ell)ert, an experienced continental officer of Georgia, 
and ]\rajor Lytle, equally exj)crienced. At the council it was 
''■ decided that Williamson should cross and join Ashe and 

they should press down the west bank of the river and clear 
ly.g the way for Rutherford and Lincoln to cross into Georgia. 

On Ashe's return at noon of March 2d he found vague 
rumors that the British were in his vicinity, and that Bryan 
was apprehensive. There had been friction between General 
Bryan and himself from the beginning of the march from 
Elizabethtown, almost resulting in a rupture, and Ashe made 


light of Bryan's apprehensions. Two small parties of horse ^^ 

had been sent out to reconnoitre, ami a strong line of pickets s. r., xiv, 

. ' - 33 

had been establishe<l three-quarters of a mile from the camp. 

Discrediting the rumors that could be traced to no definite 
source, and receiving: no information from the reconnoitring- 
parties. Ashe made no preparations to resist an attack, 
Ivut busied, himself in preparing for the forward movement. 
tie was arranging to cross the creek some two miles south 
of his camp when, to his dismay, on the next afternoon A>he 
Colonel Smith, wlio was guarding the baggage up above, Ma^'rad 
despatched information that a large British force had passed 
around the swamp and was approaching from the north. 
Almost imm.ediatel}- the pickets became engaged : but the 
British column, consisting of nine hundred regulars, brushed 
them aside, advancing rapidly with fixed bayonets to sur- 
prise the cam[) before preparations could be made to receive 
them. In the absence of preparation there was almost no s. r.. xiv, 
hope of a successful defence. Xor was there any road open 
for retreat. The position assigned the Xorth Carolina force 
b\- Lincoln was a cul dc sac. from which there w^as no escape. 
The drums beat an alarm, the outlying detachments on the 
creek were ordered in. and the troops were hastily formed 
into two lines and served with cartridges : but it was too late. 
"We marched out to meet the enemy, some carrying the 
cartridges under their arms, others in the bosoms of their 
shirts, and some tied up in the corners of their hunting 
shirts." The first line, with a few Georgia continentals under Theb.ittie 
Colonel Elbert, and Colonel Perkins's regiment on the right, 
resolutely engaged the enemy. The Halifax regiment on the 
left of the second line almost at the beginning of the en- 
gagement broke and took to flight. The Wilmington and 
Xew Bern reginients after two or three rounds followed 
their example. The Edenton regiment remained on the 
field, but after two or three more discharges they, too, gave 
way just as Major Lytle with his command of light infantry 
and a brass piece came up. That the first line and a part 
of the second firndy stood their ground is attested by the 
heavy loss of one hundred and fifty killed and wounded 
on the battlefield. 

The six hundred raw militia were not able to withstand 


m: nine huiulred British regulars. The sight of the glcamin- 

bayonets was too much for the untrained militia, \ 
assembled and taken by surprise. The panic-stricken secuii,! 
Hne fled, and the others soon followino. Elbert and his thiriv 
five continentals alone remained, fig-hting desperately; bin 
HtT.'u.'s., ^^'"^'^ ^^'"^^ quickly overcome.* The^nilitia sought safe'tv m 
s'"kv'xiv, ^^^^ swamp, but one hundred and sixty-two privates and 
45.^^73 twenty-four officers were captured. The loss in killed was 

about one hundred and fifty. Those who succeeded in cross- 
ing the river, about two hundred. Ashe marched into Ruther- 
ford's camp: but as most of them had thrown away their 
arms they were now an incumbrance rather than of further 
use to Lincoln. The others who escaped through the swamp 
toward Augusta, about two hundred and fifty, were long 
• _ collecting. Ashe asked for a court of inquiry, which found 

much to his mortification, that he had not taken all the pre- 
cautions proper to secure his camp. But considering the 
position in which Lincoln had placed him. and the great 
superiority of the attacking force, in any event only discom- 
• fiture awaited him. As the North Carolina militia were to 
be discharged on April loth. on that day they began their 
return home, althougii tb.eir general and many of the officers 
sought unavailingiy to persuade the men to voluntarily re- 
main. This detachment was, however, immediatelv replaced 
by another under General Butler. 
Loyalists ^^ ^^t-'u Hamilton was organizing his Loyalist regiment in 

derated Florida, as he had prior to his departure arranged with lead- 
ing Tories in the State to join him. his adherents were 
watchful of his movements. His regiment formed a part of 
the force that captured Savannah, and on the fall of that 
town th.e Tory leaders became active. Coloiu-1 Boyd, a 
resident of tlie lower Yadkin, collected a force vi Loyalists, 
and. marching through South Carolina, was joined by others. 
who as they proceeded plundered the defenceless settlements 
through winch they parsed. Colonel Pickens, determined 
on revenge, hastily cmliodied some three hundred men and 

*CoIoneI Elbert, desperately wounded, had fallen, and a British 
soldier was in tiie act of havonettins: him whon he made a ma-onio 
sign, and his hfe was saved. He recovered, became greatly distin- 
guished, and later was governor of Georgia. 



Ci niinentals 

came up with them near Kettle Creek as tliey were makinj; 
their way to Augusta. In an action that histetl three-quarters 
(if an Iiciur the Tories were routed, alxnit forty of them hcing 
killed, among- whom was Colonel l.oyd. and the others dis- 
jiersed. Sevent}' of them were tried for treason liy the South 
Carolina government and condemned to death, but this whole- 
sale sentence was respited, and only five of the ringleaders 
were executed. General Prevost had counted much on the 
aifl of the Tories of upper Georgia and of the two Carolinas, 
and the quick suppression of this tlr.-t rising somewhat dis- 
concerted his plans. 

Dickerson's company of light horse had been taken into 
the service of congress soon after its organization, and a' the North 
served in Xew York and later \\\ Pennsylvania, and always 
as a very efficient corps; but toward the close of the year 
1778 its numbers were so reduced that by direction of con- 
gress it was returned to the State, and early in 1779 was 
discharged from service. }^Iaji;)r Phifer's light horse 
and \*ance's artillery also were at the north with the Grand 
Army, and served at Brand\wine and elsewhere. 

In December. 177S. Colonel Hogun was directed to march s. R., xiv, 
his regiment from \\'est Point to Philadelphia, as its time 
was soon to expire. The weather was very severe, but after 
a trying march he went into barracks at Philadelphia early 
in January. While he was there, on January 9, 1779, con- 
gress found time to make a tardy appointment of brigadiers 
for Xorth Carolina. Sumner and Hogun were apiininted, ^ a 

■^ 'I Sumner and 

these being the senior colonels.* The former was directed to H.vunmxrie 
return to the south, organize the contmental force then liemg 
raised in Xorth Carolina, and join General Lincoln; while 
General Hogun was assigned to the command of the brigade, s. r., xiv, 
which continued during the winter and summer in the 5°'^'374 
vicinity of West Point under the immediate command of 

Although congress and tlie state authorities made pro- 

*Colonel Clark had long been in comiTiand of the brigade, while 
Hogun liad only his own battalion: and the Assembly urged Clark's 
appointment as brigadier. b\it Hogun's commission as colonel was 
two months older than Clark's, and he had so greatly distinguished 
himself at Germantown that Congress did not heed the wishes of the 

6oo CASl\llLi:S ADMIXISTRATIOX. i;;6-So 

'JJ2 vision for the continental soldiers, the officers had to ilep. •-. 

on their pay for sup[)lies : and because ot the deprcciut-; 
of the currenc}' an<i the scarcity of cloth, their C'rU'l-.': 

The distress hccame insupportal)le. They complained l)itterlv thii -. 

officere legislature paid no attention to their distresses : and at leu:.': 

in the spring of 1779. they held a meeting at West l\'\-:- 
and resolved that they would resign to a man unlc>> •! 
General Assembly suv)plied their needs. This action wa- ;, ■ 

s'^r' ^xiv- ^^"'^^^'-"-'^ effect. The Assembly directed that they should lur. ■ 

viii, io2 ■ provisions furnished them at the following prices: Rx-.w. 
. , 8 shillings per gallon: sugar. 3 shillings per pound, 

tea, 20 shillings: soap, 2 shillings: and tobacco, i shil- 
ling : and that they should ha"ve a complete suit of clothing 
at what it would have cost at the time they first went intM 
service; and, moreover, that they should have half pay f^r 
,,. life, and that the lands granted to them, as well as to di/ 
, ^ soldiers, should be exempt from taxation while owned by 

them or their widows. This provision was accepted as satis- 
factory, and the storm that was brewing passed away. 

s. R.. XIII, In the Assemblv it is to be noted that General Person wa> 


still proposing low salaries without avail : tiie house w;i- 
,, , largely against him. The paper currency, which at the be- 

ginning of 1777 was at par, a vear later was three for one. 

Currency ' ^ '•' .' " . iii- 

depreciauon and m 1779 opciied SIX lor one. To mitigate the hardships 
of taxation, commodities were to be received for one-half of 

Taxation g^^,j^ assessmcnt. The price of corn was fixed at 33 cents 
per bushel; wheat, 43 cents; rice, 81 cents; pork. 3^ cents; 
beef, 2\ cents: tallow, 9 cents; Hou.r. 2-\ cents: salt. 2.^ cenis 
per pound ; tobacco. S3 per h.undred ; salt pork. So. 37 per 
barrel. The money of that period was so bulky that Treas- 
urer Skinner made a remonstrance to the Assembly that it 

s. R., XIV, ^^.^j unsafe to carry large cartloads of currency through the 
country without a guard. 

The better to supply the troops, each county was required 
to supply a certain number of hats and shoes and stockings. 
yards of woollen or cotton cloth and of linen, apportioned 
according to their population. Rowan's contribution was 
124 hats. 248 pairs of shoes and stockings. 248 yards of 
woollen cloth, and 524 yards of linen : there was no cotton 
cloth to speak of made at that time. There v.ere thus to be 

TOR)' }fOJ'EMnxrS 6oi 

collected about 3000 hats, twice that num1)er of shoes and 'JJ' 

stockings and vards of \voo!lcn, and more than 12.000 vards s. r., xn, 
of linen for the iT^e oi the troops. The value of these articles 
was to be ascertained by three freeholders in each county, 
the amount being deducted from the taxes assessed. 

There liad been much opposition to the movement of 
troops to the southward, but when the leq'islature assembled 
in the middle of January events of such itnportance had '"9 
happened that there was no longer any opposition to Cas- 
well's patriotic course. The governor was empowei"ed to 
order out at any time so many of the militia as he should • • - 

deem necessary, and to march them wherever needed. In 
addition to preparing against foreign invasion, the Assembly 
now had to apprehend domestic insurrection. British emis- s.r.,xiii, 
saries were actively stirring the people up to sedition. As 
a part of their plan for invasion, George Carey, a British 
naval officer, came in a vessel to the Cape Fear, under a flag 
of truce, to distribute manifestoes offering terms of settle- 
ment to the people, without regard to continental or state 
authorities. He was promptly seized and thrown into jail 
by Francis Clayton and John Walker. The vigilance of 
the Whigs detected movements in the central counties that 
excited grave apprehension. Realizing the danger, the 
Assembly directed Governor Caswell to emlxxly with all 
possible expedition two hundred and fifty infantry and 
twenty-five horsemen to take possession of Cumberland 
Countv, and to disarm all persons in Cumlierland, Anson, 
Guilford, Tryon, and other counties, who might give trouble 
to the cause. 

Before any action could be taken, earlv in Februarv Colonel '7" ^,„ 

^ ' ^ ' O.K.J AX V , 

John Moore, a Tory of Tryon County, raised three hundred jqi 
men, and he claimed that there were two thousand more 
ready for enrolment. Caswell, now fully authorized, actcfl 
with his customary decision. A force of seven hundred and 
fifty light horse was called out. Allen Jones being appointed 
to command it. and two thousand militia were drafted to meet 
at Salisbury on March 25th. 

The command of this corps, whose ultimate destination s. r, xiv. 
was to replace the detachment at the south, then about to 
return home, was bestowed on General John Butler, of the 

6o2 CASir ELL'S ADMIX [STRATI OX. i;;6-8o 

11^ llillsboro district. Callinc^ his council to.c^ether, the ,^-ov- 

ernor proceeded with them, along with the troops from the 
east, first to Campljclkuu and then to Charlntte, where he 
arrived early in April. The disaffected inhabitants were 
readily overawed, }vioore fleeing the country and joining 

Gen. Sutler ColoucI Hamilton's regiment, and on April iith General 
Butler took his <'eparture with seven hundred militia for 

Oen. Augusta. General Sumner likewise reached Moultrie's camp 

Sumner , , ... i--ir , 

^ about the end ot Alarch, and m May reported seven hun- 

j dred and fifty of the nine months" men on his rolls, of whom 
four hundred and twenty were present fit for duty, divided 
into two regiments tlesignated as the Fourth and Fifth Con- 
tinentals, conmianded bv Colonel Gideon Lamb and Major 

: Lvtle. 

In April the nine months expired for which the regiment 
organized by General Hogim at Halifax"' had enlisted, and 
Colonel Mebane was directed to march it from Philadelphia 
back to the State. Fie reached Halifax on !Mav loth. ami 
the regiment was soon disbanded. The time for which Gen- 
eral Butler's detachn>ent was calledi out was to expire in 
July, and when the Assembly met in Ma}- it directed that 
two thousand new men should be sent to replace that force. 
s"r'\Yv' ^" ^^'^y 3^^^^ ^^^^ British had captured Stony Point. al)out 
^-'7 _ thirty miles below West Point, and Washington resolved to 
ony oiiit j.j_.j^|^-g jj.^ General Wayne was selected for this [purpose. In 
organizing a force for the secret expedition he chose, aaiong 

, others, the Second North Carolina Continentals. It was to 

be a night attack, and the approach was over a quagmire 

crossed by a single causeway. A forlorn hope was neces- 

\ sary, and ]Major Hardy Murfree volunteered with two of 

, his companies for this post of honor. Just before midnight, 
with unloaded muskets, the assault was made. A deadly 
disch.arge of grape and musketry swept through the ad- 
vancing column, but without avail. The enterprise was 
successful, and the entire garrison were either killed or 

*The four new battnlions; sent to the North were raised fnr twelve 
months, and on the termination of their enlistment many joined 
the other battalions. But these in time came to be so reduced that 
the brigade consisted of only two battalions. Clark's and Patton's. 
Hdc^un's battalion thus was at first spoken of as the seventh, but 
later as the third. 


captured. General \\'ayne himself was wounded, and Cap- 'Z'2 

tain John Daves, second in command under Murfree. was 
dan.c:erously wounded, but eventually recovered. This most 
brilliant feat of arms brought great credit and honor to all 
eng:aj^ed in it, and none deserved higher commendation than 
the Nor^i Carolinians. 

The new Assembly was to meet at New Bern, but tlie s'^^/xni. 
smallpox was ragin.s: so violently in that vicinity that (m-- 734. tq^ 
ernor Caswell sueg-ested that it should assemble at Smith- 
field, where it convened May 3d. Allen Jones and Thomas 
Benbury were again chosen speakers, and in the senate 
Samuel' Johnston reappeared as senator from Chcnvan. 
Caswell was continued as governor. ]Maclaine declined the 
judgeship, deprecating his own abilities, and recommended 
the appointment of John Williams, wlio. having served a {vmi^.n, 
year in tlie Continental Congress, was now willing to aban- ^^^mi^' 
don a post of honor whose compensation was so insufficient; (,,,^^^^^;^ 
and he was elected to the vacancy on the bench. As honor- officers 
able as was the service in the Contmental Congress, the great 
expense attending it rendered the position undesirable, and 
those chosen delegates were not eager to go to Philadelphia. 
Indeed, for long periods, only one delegate from North 
Carolina was in attendance. The congress therefore 
recommended an increase in the delegation, and T-urke, 
Sharpe and Hewes were added to the other delegates, the 
AssemV)ly agreeing to pay their actual expenses and to leave 
their compensation to the next Assembly. Genera! llryan, 
on his return from Briar Creek, having resigned, Cobjiicl 
William Caswell was chosen to succeed him; and in the 
absence of General Butler at the south. Ambrose Ramsay 
was appointed to serve temporarily in his stead. The s.r., xiii. 
legislature, considering it would be well for the General 
Assembly to meet at some fixed place near the centre of the 
State where the offices could be kept, appointed a commis- 
sion to select the most convenient [)laces in Johnston, W ake. 
and Chatham connties. and report a description of each place 
to the next .Assembly. Thomas McGuire was chosen attor- 
ney-general in the i-lace of Waightstill Avery, who had re- 
signed appointment, and John Pugh Williams was 
elected brigadier-general in the place of General Skinner, 



S. R., 
XXIV, 254 

Efforts to 



S. R , XIV, 

v.ho resicrncd : and the State beinq" divMcd into six trcasur\ 
districts. William Skinner. William Catnev. William Johns- 
ton, Green Ilill. Richard Cogdell. and John Ashe were 
chosen treasurers of their respective districts. 

It beinsj evident that continental troops, trained and dis- 
ciplined in long: continuous service, would be more effective 
than short-time militia called from their tields to action and 
anxious to return to cultivate their farms, unusual efforts 
were made to enlist continentals. To that end it was pro- 
posed that any ten militiamen who should furnish one con- 
tinental recruit to serve eig'hteen months should themselves 
be exempt from all military service for that period, except 
onlv in case of actual invasion or insurrection. By this 
means, together witli a lilicral Ix^unty. it was hopetl that two 
thousand continentals could lie recruited by July. But all 
these hopes were disappointed, and only about six hundred 
were raised, so that in Jul}- Governor Caswell was obliged 
to make another call on the militia districts for a force to 
relieve General Butler, the command of the new levies being 
conferred on (jeneral Lillington. As the detachments were 
being collected, however, a large force from X'irginia passed 
through tlie State to the aid of General Lincoln, relieving 
his nece-^sities ; S'l fur a time Lillington's drafts returned 
to their homes. And, indeed, there were other considera- 
tions that pressed Governor Caswell to defer this expedi- 
tion. In Edgeci'milie. Xa^-h. and Johnston Tory leaders were 
harboring deserters whu had signed articles of association 
to prevent th.e militia from being drafted, and who inaugu- 
rated a reign of lawlessness, requiring a military force to 
restore civil authority. While at the west the Tories were 
again active, ami Kutherford reported that there was an 
organized band in llurke publicly robbing the friends of 
America and murdering them, and that a conspiracy was 
forming for a rising inuuediately. 

On June joth. Ge-ieral Lincoln attacked Colonel ]Maitland 
at Stouo. in the vicinity of Charleston. General Butler's 
militia composed the right and General Sumner's con- 
tinentals the left cf the attacking force. In the front of the 
Britisii line was CdIoik-I Hamilton with his regiment of 
L.n-ali.-t North Carolinians. Both militia and continentals 


s. R.. 



The Tories 

S. R., XIV, 

June, I77g 
S. R.. XI V, 

129^, »37 




S. R.. XIV, 
312. 3<S 

Death of 

beliaved admirably. General Butler, much gratified, reported 
to Governor Caswell that he could with pleasure assure him 
that the otificers and men under his command behaved better 
than could have been expected of raw troops. Lieutenant 
Charlton, of the continental brigade, was killed and Major 
Plal Dixon was wounded. as also was ^Major William R. Davie. 
It was the twenty-ihird birthday of this young officer, des- 
tined in after years to attain eminence both in military and 
civil life. He was in command of a detachment of cavalry. 
In a cavalry charge he was wounded and fell from his horse. 
His company soon began to retire, when a private, although 
the enemy were but a few yards distant, deliberately placed 
the wounded officer on his horse and led him from the field. 
Davie never knew the name of his deliverer. The wound 
in his leg was so severe that the major was incapable of 
further service during that year. 

In July, the British having retreated from their demon- 
stration against Charleston, General Sumner marched his 
continentals to Camden, and being in ill health, he returned 
to North Carolina and addressed himself to securing more 
continental recruits. The enlistment of many of his men 
expired in August, but others were constantly being sent to 
his camp, and about August ist Colonel Lamb led a large 
detachment from the east to Camden, where he was joined 
by others from Salisbury. The sand hills of the Peedee 
were fotmd to be most healthful and admirably located for 
a camp, and the continentals remained there until the last 
of the month, when they marched to Charleston. 

But hardly had they reached Charleston when a French 
fleet, bearing an army of thirty-five hundred men, arrived 
in the Savannah to co-operate with Lincoln in an attack on 
the British garrison of that post. The allies concentrated 
there early in September, but a month passed before the 
French were ready to attack, and North Carolina militia 
were hurried forward, but were detained at Charleston by 
General Moultrie. In the attacking column were the North 
Carolina continentals ; with the defenders were Hamilton's 
Loyalist regiment. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the 
attack was made with great resolution, and for a time the 
standard of the North Carolinians tloated over the parapet 

S. R., XIV, 
157. 315. 3j8 


on the 
^and hiils 

S. R., XIV, 


October 9th 

Iredell, I, 






of the Sprint: Hill redoubt. The French lost 700 men and 
the continentals 240 out of a corps of 600. 

As the British plans developed, the invasion of the South 
wore such a tlireatening aspect that toward the close of 
September cong"ress directed the North Carolina bri^i^ade 
to reinforce General Lincoln, 'uut \Vashington detained them 
for a time, and it was not until Xovember 23d that the 
brigatle broke camp on the Hudson and bei^an its long 
march to South Carolina. About the middle of February 
General Hogun reached Wilmington with about seven hun- 
dred men. and rn March 3'! v.-ent into camp at Charleston. 
A little later Washington also sent all of the Virginia con- 
tinentals south. 

In 1779 the counties of Wayne, ^lontgomery and Rich- 
mond were established, the last named for the Duke of Rich- 
mond, while its county seat was calleil Rockingham, in honor 
of two friends of the colonists in Parliament. 

Feb., 17a 
S. R., X 




Nash's Admixistratiox, 17S0-81 

The confiscation act. — Lillington's brigade. — The fall of Charles- 
ton. — The prisoners suffer. — Death of Hogun. — The delayed rein- 
forcements. — Tarleton's quarters. — Invasion apprehended. — Caswell 
major-genera!. — De Kaib's reinforcements arrive. — Gates to com- 
mand. — Activity of Rutherford. — Ramseur's Mill. — Rutherford p.ur- 
sues Bryan. — Plans of Cornwallis. — De Kaib encamps on Deep 
River. — Davie's enterprise. — Gates advances. — Battle of Camden. — 
Death of De Kalb. — dallantry of Gregory and Di.xon. — Gates's ride. 
— The disaster. — At Charlotte. — Sumter's negligence. — Davie in ad- 
vance. — The spirit of the people. — New supplies. — Preparations for 
defence.— The .A-^semhly acts. — The Board of War. — Smalhvood 
supersedes Caswell. 

The confiscation act 

The Assembly convened about the middle of October. ^^ 

The member? felt that they had temporized long enough with ^^- 
the malcontents, and a bill was passed to carry into ettect the 263-268 
act of 1776, confiscating the property of Tories. It was a 
strong and sweeping act of contiscation. Willie Jones and 
a dozen other re[)resentatives entered a vigorous protest 
against it. "Tt involves such a complication of blunders and ^,2^'^^^^' 
betra\'s such ignorance in legislation as would disgrace a 
set of drovers," protested Jones, with emphasis. At that 
time, as later, hundreds of hogs were driven in droves from 
one part of the State to anodier where a market could be 
found, and the men so employed were kndwn as "drovers." 
But notwithstanding Jones's disgust, the measure was 
passed, although later its severity was tempered, and it 
was not carried into full operation. Many of those who 
would not take the oath of allegiance were allowed to re- 
main in the enjoyment of tlieir homes, but became known 
even in tlie acts of the Assembly as "non-jurors." 

General Jones having been appointed a delegate to con- 
gress. William Eaton became brigadier of the Halifax dis- 

6o8 X.lSirS .IPMIXISTR.lTIOy, lySo-Si 

IIJ2. trict, and. John Pugh Williams declininq- in the E(leni(Mi 

November district. Colonel Isaac Gregory was also promoted. 

To aid Cienera! Lincoln, a dcLachnient of three thousand 

Gen. men was ordered to be emhoflied and sent to South Carolina, 

LiUii.gton ^^^,[ toward the end of December General. Lillins^ton led it 

s^R.,xiv, southward. This brigade served at Charleston. The period 

of the enlistment expired just as Charleston was being closed 

up by the besieging British, and for the most part these 

troops remained and were surrendered. 

From the first there had been a law that continental 
officers were not to command militia, and although there 
were in the State many fine officers trained in the con- 
tinental army unemployed, this regulation debarred them 
3,6^'' ^^' from service with the militia detachments. But somehow 
Major Hal Dixon and Major Nelson served with Lillington, 
who during the campaign wrote to the governor: "I think 
m}'self very happy" in their appointment, "and could freely 
wish your Excellency would recommend these gentlemen 
to the Assembly if there should be more militia sent to the 
southward." That recommendation was followed, and 2\Iajor 
Dixon subsequently had command of a militia regiment that 
did great credit to the State. 

The fall of Charleston 

1780 The British being in possession of Savannah, it was appre- 

hended that Charleston would be their next point of attack, 
and strenuous efforts were made to put that city in a state 
of defence. C)n February loth Sir Flenry Clinton, having 
arrived with an adflitional force from Xew York, disem- 
barked on John's Island, and at the end of March he passed 
the Ashley River above Charleston, taking possession of the 
Lee's Neck, across which Lincoln had. as defensive measures, cut 

^jmoirs, ^ canal, constructed abattis. and built strong redoul:)ts and 
batteries. It was thought that the British fleet could be 
successfully opposed : but on April 9th it passed the bar. 
ran by Fort Moultrie, and took possession of the harbor. 
To prevent its a^^cent. the channel of Cooper River was hur- 
riedly obstructed by sinking there the entire American fleet. 
and so the way was still open for General Lincoln to retire 
from the citv if he had chosen to do so. 


But the citizens entreated him to hold the city, and in '2!^ 

the vain hope of rehef. he yielded to their earnest appeals. 
It was expected that the \'ir^-inia continentals, as well as 
militia from that State and the two Carolinas, would come 
to his aid, and that he would be able to raise the siege when 
these succors came. On April 6th Colonel Harrington, with 
some of the Xorth Carolina militia, arrived, having entereil 
the city by way of Addison's Ferry, and Governor Rutledge 
was collecting the South Carolina militia on the Peedee, and 
awaiting the arrival of the \'irginia troops and Caswell's 

Day by day the enemy approached nearer and nearer, until f^^^' ^^• 
at length, on April 24th, Lincoln made a determined sortie 
to drive off their working parties. The detachment for this 
assault numbered three hundred men, composed of Hogun's 
North Carolinians. Woodford's \'irginians. anil tv,-enty-one 
South Carolina continentals. The interruption to the opera- 
tions of the enemy was ineffectual ; and other than this one 
effort. Lincoln simply endured the trying ordeal of his un- 
fortunate predicament. The fire of the British along the 
lines was continuous, and daily a few of the brave de- 
fenders fell at their posts. In all. the American loss 
was 89 killed and 140 wounded; that of the besieging 
force being about the same. At length, all hope of ^,^3^'' ^^'* 
relief having faded away, and all avenues of escape being 
closed, and the citizens wearying of the siege. General 
Lincoln convened a council of his officers, and by their ati- May u 
vice agreed to surrender. The capitulation took place on 
May 1 2th. His army at that time numliered two thousand 
continentals, five hundred of whom were then in the hos- 
pitals. In addition, there were more than a thousand n.iilitia, wl^hi.'^gt.'n, 
nearly all Xorth Carolinians, for there were but few South "^^^ 
Carolina militia in the city. 

Bv the surrender the entire X'orth Carolina line. embracing ^•,^-- ^'^'' 
the new battalions as well as Hogun's brigade, was elim- pestmction 
inated from the contest, all that were left being those on L'„''tineni:,i 
sick leave and such officers as were at home unemployed. ^'""^ 
Included in the surrender were General Hogun. Colonels 
Clark. Patten, and Mebane and fifty-nine other officers and 
ei2:ht hundred and fourteen rank and file. Under the terms 


^^ of capitulation the militia were paroled and allowed l(^ re- 

turn to their homes, but the continentals were kept in the 

Ti?* The ofticers were located on Haddrell's Point, opposite 

prisoners . . __ , ' ' 

suffer the city, while most of the men were conrined on the prison 

ships. The privates were subjected to horril^le i!l-us;ig'e, and 
many died from conhnement on shipboard in that hot clinuite 
without suitable provision being made for them. The con- 
dition of the officers was somewhat better.* But while the 
officers had some conveniences, and eng'ai^ed in gardenin_f^ 
and had some amusements among- themselves, still the\' 
underv/ent great privations. Notwithstanding some supplies 
furnished by North Carolina under a flag of truce.- food was 
very scarce, and a petition to fish, in order to add to their 
limited supply, was refused by the British commaniler. To 
relieve the pressure of feeding these prisoners, Lord Ger- 

Pref. Notes, maiu. writing to Cornwallis. said : "'What appears to me the 

xiv, a'^f ' most practicable measures for the purpose are the ind,ucing 
the prisoners to enter (3n board the ships of war or privateers, 
or to go as recruits to the regiments in the West Indies, or as 
volunteers to serve upon the expedition against the Spanish 
settlements from Jamaica; and \our Lordship v;ill there- 
fore take the proper steps for dispersing as many of them 
as possible in these several wa\s. or in such other wavs as 
may occur to you as mv)re practicable and effectual." Con- 
formably to these directions, a considerable number of the 
prisoners were sent to the West Indies and were in a 
measure forced by the Briti>h into their service. 

Death of General Hogun sought to counteract the influences ex- 

General , i i ' i • • i , i • - i 

Hogun erted by tne autiiorUies to detach the prisoners trnm the 

n'.'^c., IV.' American cause, and although offered leave to return home 

''^ on parole, he refused to be separated from his men. He 

knew that liis alisence would facilitate the efforts of the 

*0n Nfarch J7th. Coloiifl Wa>l!iii,G:ton while reconnoitering had 
come up with a party of the British, and in the engagement that 
ensuerl killed jf.vcn and took several prisoners, among whom was 
Colonel Hamilton. Thus it happened that Colonel Hamilton was 
a prixuier in Ch:\rie-ton at the surrender and was retaken by hi-^ 
friends. Of a kindly .ind generous disposition, he rendered much 

s. R., XV, service to the North Carolinians, whose misfortunes appealed to his 

3<*6 sympathy. 


British in seeking: recruits among- the lialf-starveil prisoners, 'J,^ 

anl he fell a victim to his sense of duty. He died at Had- s_r..xv, 
drell's Point January 4, 1 78 1, a strikin.i;- illustrati(jn of devo- 
tion and self-sacririce. Of the eighteen hundred regulars 
who went into captivity on ]May 12, 1780, only seven 
lumdre'l survived when they were paroled. After an im- 
prisonment of twelve months an exchanq-e of ofticcrs was 
agreed on: those who had not died in captivity Vvere landed 
on James River and those exchanged returned to the army. 

General Lincoln, in 'Ictermining to hold Charleston, was in JJ^;^^^^'^ 
expectation that great eti'orts would be made to relieve him. mcms 
The South Carolina militia were collecting: continentals 
were ordered to his aid from Mrginia, and Xortli Carohna 
sent forward a brigarle of seven hundrdl men under Brig- 
adier William Caswell. As Caswell marched fmm Cross s.'r.,x7"' 
Creek, the advance of the expected reinforcements, four •^' 
hundred X'irginia continentals under Colonel Buford reached 
the Santee, but the entrance to the city was then closed, 
and toward the end of April these detachments went into ^^^,^ 
camp near Lanier's Ferry, on the Santee. where President .Memoirs, 
Rutledge was then concentrating the South Carolina militia. 

Quicklv after the fall of Charleston the British occupied 
Augusta and Xinety-six. and Cornwallis led a lieavy force 
toward Rutledgc's camp. Caswell and P.uford falling liack 
before him toward Camden. There they separated, and 8./ 
Caswell retreated to Cross Creek, where he arrived June 2d, 
while Buford took the upper route to Charlotte. 

On reaching Camdien Cornwallis despatched Colonel 
Tarleton with his cavalry and some mounted infantry in 
pursuit of Buford. who was overtaken at the Waxhaws, 
thirtv-five miles from Charlotte. Tarleton demanded 
an immediate surrender on the same terms agreed on 
at Charleston. The>e Buford refused. While the flags 
were passing Tarleton made his disposition for an assault. 
The instant the truce over his cavalry made a furious Memoirs 
charge upon the unsuspecting continentals, who had no '^^ 
orders to etigage. In dismay and confusion, they ottered p,,,,,^^.^ 
no etiective resistance, but threw down their arms and asked ^'■^f''--'' 
for quarter. No quarter was given. More than 100 were 
butchered on the spot, and 150 were so badly hacked up that 


S. R.. XIV, 


ijSo ^\■^Qy could not be removed and for that reason had to ho 

paroled where they fell. Only 53 were preserved as prison- 
ers. Buford. with a few cavalry and less than 100 of the 
infantry, being' the advance g'uard. manao;ed to escape. He 
fled to Charlotte, where Colonel Porterfield, of X'irs^inia, h;i<l 
arrived with a detachment of cavalry and artillery as well as 
infantry. Alarmed at the situation, Porterfield withdrew his 
force at once to Salisbury, and Tarleton returned to Camden. 
This butchery at Waxhaw aroused great indignation, and 
was commonly spoken of as "Tarleton's Quarters." While it 
created some dread of falling into his hands, and made him 
ami his corps particularly odious, it inflamed the passions 
of the Americans and added increased animosity to the 

•' Invasion apprehended 

South Carolina being, like Georgia, occupied by the Brit- 
ish, the inhabitants generally were subjugated ; and it was 
' ' expected that Cornwallis would make no delay in invading 

North Carolina, which lay defenceless at his feet. A fleet 
was daily looked for to take possession of Wilmington, and 
it was apprehended that columns from Camden would pene- 
trate to Cross Creek and Charlotte: but happily Cornwallis 
postponed further operations until he had established civil 
government in South Carolina. 

April, 1780 While the siege of Charleston was in progress the new 
Assembly met at Xew Bern on April 17th. Governor Cas- 

Abner ^vell bciug uo long^er eligible as governor, Abner Xash was 

Nash, ° '^ '^ ^ 

governor choseu to succcecl him. For three years Caswell had been 
the most important man in the commonwealth. He had 
discharged with great zeal and efficiency every patriotic duty. 
Probably no other man could have done so well. Unfortu- 
nately, under the constitution he could not be longer re- 

*Bana>tre Tarlctnn \va> then less than twenty-six years of as;e. A 
student of the law, this was his first military service. He was 
below middle size, but muscular and active, and was a daring officer, 
capable of great endurance. Of a dark complexion and piorcinff 
bkick eye, he became noted for the violence of his temper and his 
sanguinary disposition. In his warfare he disregarded every prompt- 
ing of humanity. 



taine'i in the (lischar.sje of executive functions. But he was 'J^ 

not to remain unemployed. '_ ^■ 

So ur,L,-ent now was the necessity for prompt and decisive ^-^^^-.^ 
action that the Assembly at once created him commander-in- 331, ^9. 341 
chief of the militia, with the rank of major-general, and 
ordered a draft, in addition to that commanded by William 
Caswell, of four thousand men. As usual, the men were 
slow in turning out. some declaring that they would not 
leave their until their bounty was paid, and no money 
had been provided for that purpose. His son having re- 
turned to Cross Creek, Major-General Caswell ordered the 
eastern drafts to assemble there, and he also hastened to 
that point. 

On the departure of Clinton from New York on his H^f^f^^: 
southern expedition, congress, realizing the importance of mcusamve 
making determined resistance, ordered south, in addition 
to the unfortunate corps of Colonel Buford. detachments 
under Colonel William Washington an<l Colonel Armand 
and the First and Second ^Maryland regiments and a regi- 
ment of artillery, all to be under the command of Ivlajor- 
General De Kalb. 

These troops were too late to save General Lincoln, but 
their appearance in North Carolina was timely. The sur- 
render of the southern army at Charleston and the destruc- 
tion of Buford's corps caused great dismay among the patri- 
ots, while, on the other hand, the Tories were jubilant. The 
arrival of De Kalb with his regulars, well supplied with 
ammunition, tended in some measure to restore confidence ; 
but yet all military movements were delayed and hampered 
by the want of provisions, that could not be immediately 

On the surrender of Lincoln, as De Kalb was not thought Oau^^^ 
equal to the command of the department. Gates, wearing high 
honors as the victor over Burgoyne. was despatched to direct 
affairs at the south : and Colonel :Morgan, who had achieved 
a great reputation by his operations with his corps of light 
infantry, but who had been temporarily in retirement from 
illness. 'was urged to again enter upon active service and aid 
in defending the southern states. 

6 ) 4 

XASfFS ,lD}[[.y[STR.lT[Oy, T^Sn-Si 



213 et sef. 

Activity of Rutherford 

Altlioiip^h the interior of Xorth Carolina was now open t^ 
the victorious liritish, Cornwallis found it necessary to dr- 
vote some attention to affairs in South Carolina. Xor <lii| 
he desire to enter on a campai.^n until a plentiful supply ni 
provisions could l)e assured from the maturinsj crop. Sn 
while relying much on the assistance of the Tory inluih- 
itants, he directed them to remain quiet in their homes utiti! 
he should call tlicm to action. Thus for a time there was 
a period of quietud.e. 

But because of the proximity of the enemy, early in June 
General Rutherford, always zealous and resolute, called out 
his brigade, of whom eight hundred pmmptly assembled, and 
on the 14th of that ninnth. at Mallard's Creek, somewhat 
to the east of Charlotte, he organized his command. A 
battalion of light infantrv was committed to Colonel Will- 
iam L. Davidson, a continental officer, and two small troop-; 
of cavalry under Captains Simmons and Martin were 
assigned to Major Davie. On that evening Rutherford re- 
ceived information that the Tories were embodying in 
Tryon County, some forty miles to the northwest, and fear- 
ing to reduce his own force, he directed Colonel Locke and 
Captains Falls and Brand.on, of Rowan, and ]\Iajor Wilson, 
of Mecklenburg, to make every effort to disperse them. He 
himself adivanced to the south of Charlotte. 

Ramseur's Mill 

Colonel John Moore, whose family resided near Ramseur's 
!Mill. on the siuith fork of the Catawba, had joined the 
British army the preceding wuiter. and now^ had returned 
home, annou.ncing himself as lieutenant-colonel of Haniil- 
Toriesrise tou's rcginicnt. Hc was soon joined l-)y Nicholas Welch, a 
major of the same regiment, and the Tory inhabitants, feel- 
ing certain that the time had come for a rising, on June 20th 
nearl\- thirteen hundred of them assembled at Ramseur's 

In view of this movement, Rutherf()rd made such dis- 
positions that Cokmel Locke felt strong enough to attack 
Moore and his followers. The Tories were encamped on 
a hill half a mile north of the present village of Lincolnton. 


with a gentle slope in front and a clear fire for two hundred 'J^ 

yards. Locke having reached their neighborhood at day- Junezoth 
break, the attack was niaile by tlie mounted companies, of 
Captains Falls. McDowell, and Brandon, the infantry under 
Colonel Locke being near at hand. The Whigs got the be'.ter 
of the battle. At the two parties, having no distinctive 
tmiforms, mingled without being aware of it. Eventuallv 
the Whigs obtained possession of the ridge at tirst occupied 
by the Tories, who. however, reformed across the neighbor- 
ing creek, being much more numerous than tlieir assailants. 
Rutherford, however, had advanced into that vicinity, and T..iies 
after some parley the Tories dispersed. Moore sought safety '"^''■'^'*«*^ 
in flight, and with tliirty m.en succeeiled in reaching the 
British camp at Camden; the others returned to their homes. 
The loss on each side was about the same. Fifty-six lay 
dead on the ridge where the battle was hottest, with others 
scattered on th.e flanks. In addition, a hundred of each 
party were wounded. Fifty of the Tories were taken prison- 
ers. "In this battle between neighbors,'' says General Gra- 
ham, "'near relations and personal friends fought on either 
side, and as the smoke v.'ould from time to time rise from 
the field they could recogiiize each other engaged in deadly 
contest. In the evening and on the next day the relations 
an I friends of the dead and wounded came in. and a scene 
was witnessed of afriiction and distress quite indescribable. 
Of the Whigs. Captains Falls. Dobson. Smith, Bowman, and f:"|iam's 
Armstrong were killed, and Houston and McKissick ^-^ 
wounded ; while of the Tories, Captains Cumberland, Murrv, 
and Warlick were killed and many well-known inhabitants 
wounded. So distressing was the result of this first en- 
counter between the Whigs and Tories of that im.mediate 
section that from that tin^ie onward the Loyalists never 
actively engaged against their Whig neighbors." 

On the second dav after the dispersal of ^Moore's Tories Rutherford 

-_ ' . . . pursues 

at Ramseur's Rutheriord received intormatir)n that a con- Hoan 
siderablc number were embodying in the forks of the Yad- 
kin, at the north end of Row:m, near Surry, some seventy- 
five miles distant, under the command of Colonel Bryan. 
He inmiediately despatched Davie with his cavalry to Wax- 
haw Creek to watch the British, uhile he himself hastened to 

6i6 XJSirS ADMlXlSTRjnOX. 17S0-S1 

1780 attack Bryan. That active commaiulor, however, crosxcl 

June to the ca.•^t of the Yadkin an<l continued his route tlinni-ii 

those settlements which were much disattected. hein.g joined 
so generally by the inhabitants that by the time he i)assed 
Abbott's Creek his force had swollen to seven or eight hun- 
dred men. Ru.therford hoped to intercept him, but Cryaii, 
panic-stricken by the result of the affair at Ramseur'>. 
,.,_ marched night and day until he was able to form a junction 

with a British force under Major }^IcArthur, whom Coru- 
wallis had thrown forward, and who advanced to Anson 
Court House. 

Cornwallis's plans 
s R.. XV, These movements of the Tories were premature. Corn- 

'^' wallis wrote on June 30th that he had established satisfac- 

tory correspondence, and had seen several people of credit 
. ■:, from Xorth Carolina, and they all agreed in assuring him 

: of the "good disposition of a considerable body of the 

:, , inhabitants," but that it would be impossible to subsist troops 

; ■ there until after the harvest. He therefore had sent emis- 

saries, recommending in the strongest terms that they should 
attend to their harve>t and remain quiet until the king's 
troops should enter the province. He referred to ]\loore's 
rising as having been '"e.xciLed by the sanguine emissaries 
of the very sanguine and imprudent Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hamilton."' and hojied that no evil would result from 
that "unlucky business." Although advised of every detail 
of the American movement, Cornwallis had no apprehensions 
but that Xorth Carolina would at his pleasure be "perfectly 
s. R., XIV, reduced." Expecting an inmiediate invasion of North 
501,502 Carolina, following the complete pacification of South Caro- 
lina, th.e .American troops had been concentrated well to the 
north, to give time for the arrival of reinforcements; but 
toward the end of June De Kalb determined to move for- 
ward, and established a camp on Deep River, awaiting a 
supply of provisions to carry him into the Peedee section. 
De K.iib There was a sandy barren, virtually destitute of provisions, 

Deep'^ivcr as of inliaiutants, lying between the Deep River and Cross 
Creek. an«l extending to the west and south toward the 
South Carclina line; but in the Peedee section supplies were 


q-encrallv vetv abundant. Abnnt the ini'ldlc of Jul>" De Kalb 'J.-! 

took post at Coxc's Mills, on the Deep River, where General ^^^ ' ^^^'• 
Caswell with t!:e militia joined him, while General Ruther- J"'>' 
ford andi General Harrington moved cautiously down near 
the Cheraws. Sumter and Davie being- still further in ad- 

Davie's enterprise 

In the meantime. Davie, with his small body of cavalry, 
was manifesting a spirit of enterprise that has rarely been 
eri nailed in partisan warfare. Being in the vicinitv of Hang- Lee's 
ing Rock, one of the British outposts, on July 20th he inter- ^sv. ^76 
cepted a convoy of provisions and clothing intended for that 
garrison. The dragoons and Loyalists who guarded the 
convoy were captured and the horses and arms safely brought 
off, but the wagons of provisions had to be destroyed. A 
few davs later he unexpectedly appeared at Hanging Rock, 
intercepting three companies of mounted infantry who were 
returning from an expedition, and in plain view of the garri- ^^'^'^^^J^^'''^ 
son cut them to pieces, securing one hundred good muskets ^■. n- 'Sg 
and sixtv horses by that adventure. His own loss so far 
had not been a single man. He and Colonel Sumter, of 
South Carolina, and Colonel Irwin, of North Carolina, 
now arranged for a comijined attack on Hanging Rock, 
to be undertaken on August 5th. Davie's force had 
increased to about live hundred men and Sumter's to 
three hundred. Among the garrison were Hamilton's 
regiment and Bryan's Torie.-^, and North Carolinians again 
faced each other on the battlefield. Just after break of day 
the assault was made, and the Americans took the garrison 
by surprise. At first th.ey routed the enemy and possessed 
themselves of the camp ; but the pursuit and the plunder of 
the camp threw the Whigs into great confusion, and the 
enemy rallying, a retreat became necessary. An hour was 
spent in plundering the camp, taking the paroles of British 
officers and attending to tlie removal of the wounded, and 
then the men, loadcl with plunder, marched off cheering 
for the American cause. 


1780 Musgrove's Mill 

August While Davie was active in that quarter, the tnoimtaiu men 

were operating farther to the west. Colonel Charles 
McDowell, having been joined by Colonel Shelby and Lieu- 
tenant-Colonels Sevier and Clarke at his camp near Cherokee 
Ford, on r)road River, despatched them with some six 
hundred men to attack the Loyalist leader, Patrick Moore, 
No^nr''' ^"^li^^ ^^^^ a fortified post on Pacolet River. They were suc- 
fySu-siT' cessful, Moore surrendering- some ninety-three Loyalists and 
76-79 two hundred and fifty stands of arms. Immediately after- 

ward Colonel Ferguson arrived in their vicinity, and a 
the West' skirm.ish took place at Cedar Springs, the Americans retreat- 
ing, but carrying oft some fifty prisoners from the field. 
McDowell, learning that there were five liundred Tories 
encamped at Musgrove's Mill, on the Enoree. some forty 
miles distant, again detached Shelby, Clarke, and Williams, 
with seven hundred horsemen, to surprise th.em. Skilfully 
avoiding Ferguson, they reached the Tory camp at dawn 
on the morning of August 19th, and meeting a strong patrol 
party, a skirmish ensued. At that juncture Shelby learned 
that the Tories had been heavily reinforced by a regiment 
of British regulars. Shelley at once constructed some breast- 
works, and sent forward a small party to lure the advancing 
force into ambush. The stratagem succeeded. The British, 
hastily pursuing the retreating party, rushed in disorder to 
where the Whigs were concealed, and their commander, 
Colonel Innes, and all the other British officers except one 
subaltern having l)een killed or wounded, the pursuit was 
turned into a rout, and the Americans drove them beyond 
the Enoree. The British loss was 63 killed and 160 wounded 
and taken, while that of the Americans was onl\- 4 killeil and 
9 wounded. General McDowell, having now received in- 
formation of tlie disaster at Camden, withdrew his forces, 
and Colonel Shelby retired beyond the mountains, while 
Colonels Clarke and Williams conveyed the prisoners to 

Gates advances 
S. R.. XIV. ( )n Jvilv 31st General Caswell united his forces, com- 
52a, S2b, 5P pQ5g^^ Qf (-Itk^ eastern brigade luider General Isaac Gregory 


and that of General John Butler, with Rutherford's at the 'J^ 

Cheraws. and General Gate?, who had joined De Kalh, was August 
about to make a junction with him. Colonel Porterfield, of 
Virginia, with three hundred \irginia continentals, was also 
coming up, while General Stevens, with seven hundred \'ir- 
ginia militia, was at Coxe's ^klills getting supplies to sv.bsist 
his troops while en route to the advanced forces. By 
August /th Gates reached Caswell, and a week later the 
combined forces encranped at Rugeley's Mills, in the vicinity 
of Camden, where the British had established their head- 
quarters. Since tlie defeat of Enford all that region had 
been harried by strong bands of Loyalists. Tlie Tories had 
joined their partisan leaders, and those inhabitants v»ho 
sympathized with the American cause had either fled from 
their homes or had been captured and carried away by their 
enemies. The country was deserted and was a scene of 
desolation. It was with the greatest difficulty that food 
could be obtained for man or beast from day to day. 

Being informed bv General Sumter that a convov of stores's 
lor the army at Camden was approachmg trom Amety-six, ,.g 
and that he could intercept it at the ferry, one mile below 
Camden, if supplied with artillery, Gates now detached four 
hundred men under Colonel Woolford. of th.e Maryland line, 
with two light pieces to ai'l Sumter in that service. 

Gates having brought together his remaining troops 
determined to take an advantageous position, which had been 
carefullv selected, aliout five miles from Camden, and on 
the night of August 15th moved his army forward for the 
purpose of occupying it. 

The battle of Camden 

In the meantime Cornwallis. having been apprised of the Ai'cie.iySo 
advance of the American army, left Charleston with a large Memoirs, 
re-enforcement, and reached Lord Rawdon at Camden on ' ' ' "^' 
the I4r!i. In that extremely hot seasc^n it was convenient 
to make military movements at night rather than in the day. 
At ten o'clock on the night of the 1 5th Cornwallis set his troops 
in motion with the ])urposc of attacking Gates at early dawn. 
Gates had ignored the value of cavalry, and knew nothing 
of Cornwallis's movements. Assuming that Rawdon's force 


^ was larirely inferior t<> his own. on the same nip^ht. the 15th. 

August he marched with confidence, takings no precautions. Abtnit 

half-past two o'clock that ni,c:ht. while leisurely on the 
march, his army came unexpectedly in collisi-.n with the 
British force that had moved out to surprise him. The 
meeting- was unexpected to both. The British quickly 
routed Armand's troop of a hundred horse, in the arlvance, 
which recoiled at the unexpected discharge, became dis- 
ordered and retired. Close behind were Portcrfield's corps 
on the right and Major ]\Iartin Armstrong's light infantry. 
North Carolina militia, on the left. These resolutely with- 
stood the enemy an'I brought th.em to a halt, but unhappily 
the gallant Colonel Portertield fell in this first encounter. 
Prisoners being taken on both sides, th.e commanding gen- 
erals scon became aware of the unexpected situation. The 
two armies remained through the night, excited, ardiently 
looking for the approach of day. anxious for the conflict. 
Gates arrayed his army promptly, Maryland and Delaware 
continentals under Gist on his right. North Carolina militia 
under Caswell in the centre. \'irginia militia under Stevens 
on the left. The First Maryland Brigade Small- 
wood formed the reserve. De Kalb took post on the right, 
while Gates placed himself between the line of battle and 
the reserve. Cornwallis's right wing under Webster, com- 
posed of disciplined regulars, at dawn made a furious assault 
on the \"irginia militia, and the brave Stevens had to'endure 
the mortifying spectacle of his brigade seeking safety in 
flight, throwing away their arms without exchanging more 
s^R, XV, \\i^xx one tire with the enem.y. Caswell's militia in the centre, 
now threatened both in front and flank, soon followed this 
shameful example. Stevens, Caswell, and Gates struggled 
hard to rally the fugitives, but in tlie entire absence of 
cavalry the attempt was hopeless and the panic continued. 
General Rutherford acted with distinguished gallantry, 
but received a musket ball through his thigh, which disabled 
him. anfl he fell prostrate on the field. General Butler vainly 
endeavored to keep the centre of the North Carolina line 
Ramsay's in positiou. but it quickly g:ive way. General Gregory on 
iil'jjo ■ ^■' the right was more fortunate. Idis courageous example was 
Gregory toUowcd bv a large part of his brigade, and he stoutly 


niaintaineil liis pu^ition and adhered to the MarN'hind line; ^2'1 

but he. t(JO, was \v(?unded in the thickest of the fight. In- -^"si'^t 
deed, twice \vas he wounded by the bayonet, and man_\- of 
his brigade had no other wounds than from the bayonet. But 
the od.ds were too heavy. On the Aiuerican right the 
continentals and Major Hal Dixon's regiment of North Hai Dixon 
Carolina militia stood their ground with devoted courage. 
They made s;ubl.)orn re-istance. Indeed, tliey not only re- 
pelled the attack, but drove the enemy back from their 
tirst advanced positioii. Although greatly out;; umbered, 
resorting to the bayonet, they rushed the enernv before 
them, tailing man_\- prisoners. Smaliwood, advancing, cov- 
ered their left flank, but soon was borne down by Corn- 
wallis's heav\- cohuuu-. De Kalb made one last resolute J^'-fMoi 

, . .1)0 K.ulb 

attempt for victory, and tell with eleven v\'Ounds. Again 
the bayonets of bloody butcliers were about to pierce him, 
wdien his aide-de-camp. Colonel Du Buysson, covered the 
prostrate general with his own body and received the bayonets 
thrust at his friend. The old hero poured out his life blood 
for American liberty and shortly expired, honored by his 
foes and lamented b}- his friends. The Delaware regiment 
was nearly annihilated. More than one-third of the con- 
tinentals were killed and wounded and a hundred and .-ev- 
enty taken prisoners. A hundred of tlie Xorth Carolina 
militia also fell on the field, and three liundred were cap- 
tured. Rutherford. badl_\- wounded, was taken, and for a 
time Xorth Carolina lost his valuable services. As resfjlute 
and courageous as v.ere this brave man and General Greg- 
ory, neither won higher C'lmmendation than ^^laior Dixon. 
"None," sa\'s Lee in his "Memoirs," "can withhold applause \-^^" . 
from Colonel Dixon and his North Carolina r:gimcnt of '^6 
militia. Having their flank exposed by the llight of the 
other militia, they turned with disdain from the ignoble 
example. . . . In every vicissitude of the battle this regiment 
maintained its ground, and when the reserve under Small- 
wood, covering our left, relieved its naked tiank, forced 
the enemy to fall back." Dixon's troops emulated the noble 
ardor of their leader. 

Dr. Hugh Williamson, who was surgeon-general on s. r., xv, 
Caswell's statY, attended the prisoners, of whom, however, 

(j22 W-lSirS .IPMIXISTRATIOX, /7.V0-.V/ 

»73o j,(5 satisfactory return? could be obtained, as the British 

commissary of prisoners was, says the doctor, '"one Bootli 
Booth Boote g(^Qjg_ whose character does not appear to ])e diversified 
by a single virtue, and who would never do anything that 
would prove acceptable to us." 
Gates's, Gcncral Gates hardly waited to learn the i?s;:e of llu- 
Hi-it. N' 'nil battle. Xot succeeding in rallying the X'irginia militia, al- 
194™'"'' ' though he and General Caswell made a third and last at- 
tempt, more than half a mile distant from the battle, he 
made no new dispositions, gave no further orders, but aban- 
doning l:is army and his stores, he made sucli hot haste that 
at only a few miles from the field he was the first, exce[)t 
alone one frightened horseman, to meet Major Davie, tlien 
advancing to unite with the army. He was the first to give 
Davie information of the disaster. Davie proposed to pro- 
Graham's ceed and bury the dead. "Let the dead bury the deail !" 
oriham. exclaimed the excited hero of Saratoga as he resunied his 
speedv wav, attended by General Caswell and some mem- 
bers of his stafT. About eleven o'clock on the night of the 
i6th Gates reached Charlotte, seventy-two miles distant from 
the battle ground, bringing the news of his sad reverse. He 
did not stop, but pressed on to Salisbury, and thence to 

Caswell, however, remained a day at Charlotte, giving 
some directions for the movements of the eastern regiment, 
that fortunately had not reached his camp in time to join 
the arm.v. and ordering out the militia of jNIecklenburg and 
Rowan and Lincoln counties; and then, like Gates, he rode 
on to Hillsboro. 

In the action every corps was broken and dispersed. The 
disaster, fugitlves. prcssiug down the main road, were pursued some 
HiTu.'s.. miles by Tarleton's legion, and the way was covered with 
"' 25' arms, baggage and wagons. Tvlany took to the woods and 

sought to escape into the swamps. It was a painful rout, 
the men without officers, without provisions or baggage, and 
s. R.. XIV, great numbers without arms, the wounded and sick borne 
56^, 57" along without conveniences, and the weather extremely op- 
pressive. The suttering was intense. Indeed, the horrors 
of that fearful rout cannot be aflequately portrayed. 

Soon Charlotte becam.e crowded with troops' in retreat 


from the disaster aiul with mihtianien who were hastily col- Ul' 

lecting. Neither the officers nor soldiers of Gates's army, '^"e^'-^' 
however, remained at Charlotte, but kept moving toward 
Salisbury. General Smallwood. whose brigade was the last smaiiwood 
on the field, being hotly pressed, turned from the road, and 
it was supposed that he was either killed or taken, but on 
the third day after the battle he arrived in Charlotte, to the 
great joy of every one. His conduct gained for him the con- 
fidence not merelv of the regulars, but of the militia, and he 
was at once consulted as to what action should be taken. 
He encouraged the militia to embody and to make strenuous 
resistance if the enemy should advance. On the 20th. how- 
ever, he and all the other officers and men who come in 
set out for Hillsboro. 

On learning the woeful news, Davie, realizing Sumter s ^-^^l^^ 
danger, at once despatched a courier to inform that knidred 
spirtt. who had been so recently associated with him in dar- 
ing enterprises, of the catastrophe. Sumter had been en- 
tirdv successful in his last undertaking, and had captured 
forty wagons of booty and nearly three hundrcvl prisoners. 
He imme^diatelv decamped, but Cornwallis hurried Tarletnn ^ec-s 
in pursuit. On the night of the 17th Sumter halted at Rocky ^'l--^-. 
Mount. -thirtv miles from Camden, and the next mornmg 
proceeded eight miles farther, when, because of the heat 
and the fatigue of his troops, he again rested, ignorant of the 
pursuit. His arms were stacked, his troops scattered, many 
asleep, he himself aileep under a wagon, when Tarleton, 
having gained his rear unperccived. fell upon the unsus- 
pecting Americans, who were seized with cunsternntion at 
the assault. There was but slight resistance and then gen- 
eral flight. Out of eight hundred men. only three hundred 
and fiftv escaped; while Tarleton recovered the British 
wagons,' stores, and provisions, and took Sumter's artdlery, 
arms, and baggage, killed m.any and preserved some 


When information was received of the catastrophe that Graham's 
had befallen Sumter's corps, the people of Mecklenburg, ^J^am, 
alarmed at their exposed position, held a meeting to deter- 
mine on a course of action. It was resolved that Colonel 
Irwin, the colonel of that county, sliould form a camp some 

624 XASirs JDMIX/STRATfOX. 1^80-8 r 

l]^ seven miles to the snntli of Charlotte, and Davie's cavalry 

should patrol toward Camden. In a few days Colonel Locl-t.- 
arrived with some militia from Rowan; and Governor Xasli, 
learning that Rutherf(3rd was a prisoner, commissioned 
Colonel Davidson as temporary bri,c^adier-£^eneral and !\laj()r 
Davie as colonel of cavalry, and every exertion was made to 
ofTer resistance. 

The spirit of the people 

Severe indeed was the disaster, and for it Gates was vifj;-- 

orously condemned. "There are three capital . . . errors 

ascribed*' to General Gates, wmte Davis to Willie Jones. 

'"First, in not ordering a place of rendezvous in case of a de- 

CaroiiiM ^^'^^ ' secondly, in not having tlie baggage secured, it re- 

Utii. M.»g., maining all the while with the army; and thirdly, in quitting 

(i8s5> the field of action some time before the regulars gave way. 

and riding post to Hillsboro, two hundred and thirty miles 

in seventy-h\"e hours. He is . . . e.Kccrated by the officers, 

unrevered by the soldiers and hated by the people.'"* 

Not only was the large army that had been collected at 
great pains and expense destroyed, but all the artillery, two 
thousand stands of arms and nearly all the military stores 
sent to the south by congress fell into the hands of the 
enemv. Following so swiftlv on the loss of the entire con- 
tinental line at Charleston, this blow was an immeasural)le 
calamity to the State. The dark hours that try men's souls 
had indeed come.' The loss of brave and courageous soldiers 
at the north and the annihilation of the continental bat- 
talions robbed the State of thousands of her choicest spirits. 
But those who remained <Iid not falter; the resolution of the 
North Carolina patriots never wavereil. and their courage 
rose higher and higher under the calamities that had be- 
fallen them. As deplorable and distressing as the situation 
was, it was bravely met. Immeiliate preparation was made 

*On the other hand, consider the opinion of Lee. a soldier, and 
compare it with Davis, the civilian: "Tliis rapid retreat of General 
Gates has been generally supposed to diminish his reputation. Not 
so, in truth. It does him honor, as it evinced a mind capable, amidst 
confusion and (hst^e^s. of discerning the point most promising to 
renew with expedition his strength; at the same time incapable of 
being withlK-ld from doing his duty, by regarding the caiunmy with 
which he was sure to be assailed." (Lee's Memoirs, loo, ed. 1827.) 



to resist the invasion that was now inuninent ; but for the ^^so 

moment North Carolina was defenceless and lay open to the 

Fortunately, supplies were within reach. Trade impona- 
between our ports and the West Indies was never entirely 
arrested, and many valuable cargoes continued to be im- 
ported ; nor had the practice ceased of sending- out privateers 
to prev on Britisl: CLimnierce and make prizes of merchant- 
men. So it happened that several vessels came in just about 
the time Gates lost liis stores. brin<,nnj:^ cargoes tending to 
supply those losses. In particular, on September 4th there „ ^ ^^^ 
arrived in the Cape Fear two prizes made by the privateer 70, 7^' ' 
General Xasli, one cargo being invoiced at i 10.000 and the 
other at £40.000 sterling, the latter being one of the most 
valuable captures made during the war, and having on board 
nearly everything desired for the soldiers. Aljout the same ^,;';f;p;';^^ 
time the Marquis of Bretigny also reached New Bern, bring- 
ing a quantitv of powder, four hundred stands of arms, 
pistols, saddles, and accoutrements; wdiile Dr. Guion's 
schooner likewise arrived with additional supplies. In fact, 
the enterprise displayed by the merchants was no less 
remunerative to them than l)eneficiai to the State. It was 
also harassing to the enemy. Governor Nash in December 
mentirmed in a letter to General Washington: "The enemy 
have not been entirely free of trouble off Charleston ; and 
on the coast in that quarter during this summer they have 
suftered very considerably by our privateers, particularly 
by open row1)oats. These boats. ^\ ith forty or fifty men 
aboard, take almost everything that comes in their way. 
Two that went out in company returned here this week after 
a leave of about twenty days, in which time they took and 
sent in twelve valuable prizes, besides burning, I think, 

All now was activity in the State. Smallwood established 
a camp at Salisbury, where the sick an-l wounded were 
assembled. Such ammunition and stores as remained at 
Mack's Ferry were speedily brought to the same point, and 
there began the nucleus of a new organization. General 
Harrington, with several companies of militia from Duplin, 
Onslow. Bladen. Cumberland and some of the Albemarle 

026 X.lSirS ,ir>][I\'[STF^.lTlOX. i-So-Si 

^' counties, ags^^regating in all four hundred and fifty men. kcjit 

a vig^ilant watch and guarded the stores at Fayetteville. In 
his front, toward the coast, was Marion with a few horse- 
men, and over in Anson Colonel Kobb,* while down the 
Peedee the brave and energetic Kenan, of Duplin, patrolled 
with his squadron of horse. Farther to the west Davie and 
Davidson kept v.atch and ward. 

Governor Xash had called the Assembly together to meet 
at Hillsboro on August 12th, but a quorum of members 
had not reached there on the 23d. Time being precious, the 
members who had convened united in recommei'.ding that 
the governor should call out one-half of the militia of the 
State and direct the commanding officers to a]Vpoint com- 
missioners to obtain the necessary supplies, either by pur- 

Siimner chasc or imprcssmeut. Accordingly, the militi?. was directed 

bri-ade to asseuiblc at Hillsboro, Salisbury, and Clj.irlotte. Gen- 
eral Caswell despatched messengers to intercept the militia 
regiments of Jarvis, Exum, and Pasteur, and to direct them 

■ ■■ to Ramsey's Mills, in Chatham, where a few days later he 

himself arrived, the strength of the brigade being some eight 

s. R.. XIV, hundred men. To command it Governor Xash assigned 
General Sumner, as the most experienced officer of the State. 
C')n September 3d Caswell and Sumner proceeded with the 
brigade by way of Pittsboro to the encampment at Salisbury. 


XXlV, 344 

The Assembly acts 

vY^iv ,,. When the Assembly met, and it was not until Septem- 
ber 5th that a quorum was assembled, it addressed itself 
with vigor to preparations of defence. Responding to the 
recommendation of the governor, it levied a tax in kind to 
be at once collected out of the abundant harvest. For every 
iioo value of property each inhabitant was required to fur- 
nish one peck of Indian corn or three pounds of good pork, 

♦Colonel Kobb was afterward murdered by the Tories. "Among 
the many murik-r- ai'd house turnings {u-riietrated by this banditti," 
says Lee in his Memoirs, page 553. "that of Colonel Kobb was 
singularly atrocious. A party of them, led by a Captain Jones, 
surprised the colr'nel on a visit to his family. He defended his house 
until he uas indi;ccd by a promise of personal safety to surrender 
as a prisoner of war, when he was immediately murdered in the 
presence of his wife and children and his house burned." 


or other provisions enumerated in the act. except that the 'J^ 
inhabitants of Carteret might dehver instead a gallon of September 
salt ; and the Quakers, Moravians and "non-jurors'" were to 
pay their entire tax in provisions. A loan of £1,000,000 
was also directed to be made, while for the present the 
confiscation act was suspended. }^Iany persons being in 
custody on the charge of opposing the State in its defence, {'^^^f 
for the "speed.y trial of traitors" tlie magistrates of the 
different counties were given authority to try tlicm, no 
counsel being allowed either for or against any prisoner. 
who. however, was at liberty to make his own def-juce, and 
should have reasonable time to prepare for trial : and there 
was to be no arrest of judgment in any case if the proceed- 
ing was of suiricient substance to convict. 

P...ard of 


The Board of War 

Governor Xash had reported to the Assembly that the 

members of his council did not attend its meetings and gave 
him no aid : and he urge'l that other appointments shoidd 
be made ; and he al-So reconimend.ed that a Bi^ard of War 
should be created, who would share with him tlie responsi- s. r., 
bility of conducting military matters when tb:e Assembly xjv. 376^ 
was not in session. Accordingly the Asscmlily created a 
Board of War. composed of Colonel Alexander Martin. 
John Penn, and Oroondates Davis, investing it with great 
powers, especially for concerting a general plan of opera- 
tions for the defence of the State and carrying it into execu- 
tion. General Harrington had somewhat earlier been ap- 
pointed brigadiier-general of the Salisbury district during the 
absence of General Rutherford, and now that Rutherford 
had fallen into the hands of the enemy the Assembly elected 
Colonel Davidson to that position. Harringt-ii promptly 
tendered his resignation, but nevertheless, because of the 
emergencv. he continued to acr under his commission as 
b'rigadier. rendering efficient 'Service on the southeastern smuUwood 
border. General Smallwood. of the Maryland line, was en- c.fs'vTJr' 
joving a high reputation because of his admirable conduct 
at Camden, quite in with the prevalent idea of the 
conduct of Gates and Caswell ; aiid the .\ssembly tendered 
him the position of major-general and cnnmaniler-in-chief 


628 XJSfrS .inMlXISTRATIOX. 1780-S1 

]]^Z C)^' ^11 flic militia of the State, thus suporse(Hng Caswell, and 

giving Snialhvood precedence over all the oflicers in the 
southern army except alone General Gates. This action 
virtually retiring- liirri, Caswell indignantly resented; and 
he returned to his home at Kingston. A month later he 
wrote to Governor Xash, reminding him thar, '"in the spring 
he had not only been appointed major-gentrs.1 to command 
tlie militia, but as well a member of the I'Oard to conduct 

s. R., XV, trade in behalf of the State : and that as the Assembly had 
been pleasetl to dismiss him from the command of the militia, 
it 's probable it would have dismissed him also from the 
Board of Trade had it occurred to them that he had been 
appointed a nieml>er of that board"; and so with some 
warmth he tendcre^l his resignation of this latter position. 
For a time he remained entirely quiet. 







?. -- '<=• ' 



1. Joseph Win^ion i. Joskph GxAiiAM 

3. Joseph McDowell (Quaker Meadows) 4. William Polk 


Nash's Administration-, 1780-81 — Continued 

Cornwallis moves to Charlotte. — Davie'.-; gallant defence. — The 
activity of the }.[eck!enhurger<. — Governor Martin's proclamation. — 
^[ovenient on .Xngii^ta. — Ferejii.son marches westward. — The fron- 

j tiersmcn assemble. — Battle of King's ^lountain. — Death of Chronicle. i 

— The victory gives great joy. — Its effects. — Cornwallis retires. — His 

(J gloomy outlook. — Leslie in Virginia. — Moves to Camden. — Gates 

moves forward. — Cornwallis's disappointment. — Arrival of Greene.—*- 
Tlis activity. — His forward movement. — The new year. — The Council 
E.xtraordinary. — Caswell reinstated. — Four new continental battal- 
ions. — Xo party divisions. — During Caswell's administration. — Nash's 
administration. — Dr. Burke's zeal to correct abuses. — Sam Johnston 
dech'nes the pre-idency oi congress. 

I Cornwallis moves to Charlotte 

I After the rout of Gates'.s army Cornwallis occupie'l him- 1; 

I self at Cam 'en arransjinq- for the administration of civil (v""^ . 

f and military attairs m South Carohna, and then the time >93-"36 

{ beinq- at hand for him to invade North Carolina, he mover! 

to W'axhaw on September 8th, restinpf there for the Tories 
^ to embody and join him. Tarleton was thrown on his left 

I toward Fer.qii.son, who was operatins^ on the frontier. At 

I first while the British army lay at Waxhaw Colonel Davie 

J alone was at its front. With a command not exceeding Wai-.ab's 

I one hundred and fifty men. that enterprising- officer on Sep- 

f tember 20th, by a circuitous march, fell on a detachment of 

some three hundred of the enemy at Wahab's plantation. 

routed them and brouo^ht off ninety-six horses, a hundred 

and twenty stands of arms, returniui^ to his camp that same 

eveniuG^, havinpf marched in less than twenty-four hours no 
I less than sixty miles. On the same day Sumner and David- s. r., xiv, 

i son reached hi? camp with a thousand militia. Four davs ^'*^ 

I later Cornwallis reneweil his movement, advancinir on 

Charlotte, and Sumner and Davidson fell back toward 


Sumner at 
tlie front 

630 X.lSirS .IDMlXISTR.lTfOX, 1780-S1 

i:^ Davidson tiirncl to the west, while Sumner look post at 

s. R.. XIV. ;McGowan's Creek, where earlv in Octoher General Sutler's 

309. 410, 081, _ ..'.-. 

778:Xv, 8g brigade of =even Inmdrcd joined him. General Jones with 

the Halifax brigade had been ordered to join Harrinij^tun 

TOncenTra" "^ front of Campbellton. but he, too. was now marchint,'- with 

all haste to Sumner's camp. Colonel William W'ashingion 

had enlisted some hundred troopers also in the eastern 

counties, and he with other partisan leaders were concen- 

s. R., XIV, traiing at Salisbury. General Smailwood and Colonel Mor- 
412 . . ' 

gan already in high reputation on October 7th, left Hillsboro 
for the front. Everywliere there was displayed the same 
energy and spirit. It was estimated that there were five 
thousand men concentrating for defence. The Board of 
War, however, was emphatic in directions that a general 
engagement was to be avoided, for a second defeat at that 
time would have had a most disastrous effect on the inhalii- 
' ■' tants and on the spirit of the militia, who had now in some 
measure rallied from the depression caused by the disaster 
at Camden. 

Davie's gallant defence's Davic witli his troop of horse, now augmented by a few 

^^ra am, voluntecrs und<ir Major Joseph Gralum, remained to ob-- 
Sept., 1730 serve the enemy. On the night of the 25th he took a num- 
ber of prisoners, and then himself retired to Charlotte. 
Early ihe next morning Tarleton's legion with some light 
infantry was seen advancing, followed by the main body. 
Determined to make a defence, Davie disposed of his small 
force advantageously at the court-house, and when the 
AtChariotte enemy, sounding a charge, advanced at a full gallop, he 
opened fire and drove them back with great precipitation. 
A second and third charge was simifarly repelled ; but at 
length the infantry turned his flank, and in good order 
Davie withdrew his companies, each in turn covering the 
other, and made a successful retreat. The eneni}- followed 
cautiously for some distance, when they ventured to charge 
the rear guard. They were stubbornly resisted and driven 
Locke tilled off, but imfortunatcly not without loss; Lieutenant Locke 
and four privates \vere killed, and Major Graham and five 


others were wounded/^ The following day after this hrilliant U^ 

affair at Charlotte Davie joined the army at Salishury, but September 
on the union of some mounted infantry from Granville under 
Colonel Taylor v.ith his corps he felt strong enough to 
return to the immediate front of Cornwallis, who estab- 
lished himself at Charlotte. • 

The activity of the Mecklenburgers 

As trying as were tiit- dithculties which beset the Ameri- 
can commanders for the want of provisions, the troubles of 
Cornwallis on the same score were much greater. His 
foraging parties brought in but little, and they were so 
sorely harassr,! by Davie that the British army fell into 
sore distress for want of forage and supplies. 

At Charlotte there were but a few houses, but it was a Graham's 

r , dr.iham, 

desirable location for an army because of the numerous 253,260 
mills in the immed.iate vicinity, at which corn and wheat 
could lie ground for th.e use of the troops. At Polk's Mill, p,,ik'sMm 
two miles distant from Charlotte, Cornwallis stationed a 
detachment of fifty men, and on September 28th Major 
Dickson with si.\ty cavalrymen made the entire circuit 
around Charlotte and attacked that post. He was repulsed, 
but the assault added to the disagreeable position of the 
British comm.ander. Five days later he despatched a de- 
tachment of four hundred and fifty infantry, sixty cavalry 
and fortv wagons under ]Major Doyle toward the fertile 
fields of Long Creek, some ten miles to the northwest of 
Charlotte, to bring in forage and supplies. At Mclntyre's Mcintyre's 
[ farm a party of a hundred men and ten wagons was left 

1 to gather forage, while the others continued on. Captain 

I James Thompson and thirteen of his brave neighbors reso- 

\ lutely attacked this party, and so vigorously that eight of 

I them were killeil .and twelve wounded. Doyle was so 

I alarmed by this unexpected assault that he hastened back, 

I picked up his tlead and wounded and then tied precipitately, 

I having obtained onlv forage enough to load four wagons. 


I *Tn this encounter at the Cross Roads. St. George Locke, a son of 

\ General .\[atthe\v I ocke. was iiterally cut to pieces in a mo>t har- 

! barous manner, v.liile Captain Joseph Graham, in addition to being 

I wounded three times with balls, received six sabre cuts and was 

I left on the field for dead. 

632 yASH\S .in.'lffX-ISTRATlOy, ij8n-^i 

i73o Governor Martin's proclamation 

October Acc'.)!iip;in>ing- Ciiniwallis was the royal governor. Josiah 

J^Iartin, wlio now entered the Stale for the first time since 
he departed from the Cape Fear in ]May, 1776. Hoping; 
much frotn the Tories and (Usattected inhabitants, who he 
conceived were attached to him personally, on October ^'i 
he issued an earnest address seriously and solemnly callini; 
on the faithful subjects of his ^lajesty with heart and hand 
to join and unite with the arm}-, and exhortini:^ all the 

Or.ih.xm's voun<2' mcu to testifv their lovaltv and S])irit bv cnlistinir in 

♦64,265 a provmcial corps to be under his mimediate command; and 
otlerinp: a bounty of three guineas, full pay and free grants 
of land at the end of the rebellion. Couriers were at once 
sent off to disseminate this proclamation both to the west 
■ and the east. l)Ut before it could have operation came the 

news of the destruction of Ferguson's corps, which 
effectually suppressed all Tor}' risings. 

Movement on Augusta 
■' AlthouGfh the southern Indians adhered to the British, 

looking to the king of Great Britain for protection against 
the innads of the colonists, intercourse with them was con- 

Manm stautlv maintained by Colonel Joseph ]\Iartin, specially em- 

ployed in that service, and he managed with suclr skill, 
wisdom and prudence, that during that critical period of the 
■' war. they remained quiet, and the western borders were not 

menaced with the peril of a savage warfare. 

This fortunate circumstance left the frontiersmen free to 
take the field away from b.ome when called upon. Some- 
what earlier than Ccirnwallis's advance several detachments 
had embndied mider local leatlers with the purpose of attack- 

Lee-s ing Augusta, where a large supply of arms, ammunition. 

S"o?' Id.inkets. salt and other commodities intended as the annual 

s^R., XV, pi-^^ggjit to the Indians was then stored. Eventually all these 
united under Colonel Clarke, who marched toward Augusta. 

Garden Hill The Brltish commander. Colonel Browne, having informa- 
tion of their approach, retired toward Ninety-six. but was 
overtaken at Garrlen Hill, where he fortified and gallantly 

s. R., XIV, defended himself, awaiting relief. After four days of siege 

*'^ relief came, and Colonel Clarke was forced to retire, carry- 


mg; with him. however, a large amount of the In(Han proods 'J^ 

that had fallen into his hands. In the meantime other September 
movements had been made anions- the frontiersmen, even 
as remote as Watauiia and western \'irginia. 

Ferguson marches westward 

To counteract these movements Cornwallis had detached 
Major Ferguson, an accomplished officer, with three hun- 
dred regulars and a small body of Loyalists, to proceed 
toward the frontier, arouse the Tories, collect provisions 
and suppress the Whig inhabitants. He was not only ^.^^ • ^^'' 
supplied with ammunition, but carried with him a thousand 
stand of arms for the Loyalists who were expected to. join 
his force. jMarching through upper South Carolina and 
then into Xorth Carolina, Ferguson himself stopped at Gil- 
bert Town, but a detachment penetrated as far as Morgan- 
ton, and word was spread that he proposed to destroy all 
the Whig settlements. This information. in.stead of acting P,;^;';^'""'' 
as a deterrent, aroused the Whigs of the frontier, who were 
alrearly embodied ready for action. On September 14th f^.^ • ^^^'' 
Gen. \\'illiam Lee Davidson ordered Armstrong. Cleveland 
and Locke to unite their forces and arrest Ferguson's prog- 
ress ; and the other Whig leaders were also moving. They 
resolved.on Ferguson's destruction. Campbell, froin \'irgani&. H'-^J"^* 
joined Shelby and Sevier at Watauga, their united forces 
numbering nine hundred men. and on Septeinber 25th 
crossed the mountains, where they were met by Colonel ]\Ic- 
Dowell with a hundred and sixty others, and on the 30th, 
on the banks of the Catawba, they were reinforced by Cleve- 
land with three hundred and hfty men of the counties of 
Wilkes and Surrv. Marching south on the evening of Octo- ^- ^- xv. 
her 6th. thev were joined near Cowpens by Colonel Wil- 
liams's force of four hundred. There information was re- 
ceived that Fertruson was near the Cherokee ford of Broad 

1 S R XV 

River, about thirty miles distant. A council of the prmcipal \^6 " 
officers was held, and it was thought advisable to set out 
that night with nine hundred of the best horsemen, leaving 
the others to follow a^ fa>t as possible. [Marching all night, 
at three o'cl(-»ck the ne.xt afternoon they reached the vicinity 
of Ferguson's corps. 

r,.; XASirS ADMiyiSTRATlOX, 17S0-S1 


1780 Fersuson. having information of the approach of a \\"[u;: 

Ki^s-s column, ha.l taken"^ a stronj? position on the top of Kin-"> 

o:t"7;f' IMountain. iwclve miles distant from the ford, and m lull 
contidenoe that he could not 1.-.e force-l trom a post possc^s- 
ino- such natural advantages. The assadants were forme! 
into three .luisions. and coollv ascended the mountam fnmi 
different directions. The dav was wet. and their approach 
beincT fortunatelv undiscovered, the Whigs easdy took the 
Brittsh pickets. As the column was arranged, the W ashmg- 
ton and Sullivan regiments, gaining their positions hrst. 
be-an the attack on the front and left tiank ; to the North 
SR..XV. Carolinian, tmder Winston, Sevier and Cdeveland wa> 
''"■''* assigned the attack on the rear and (;iher t^ank, Lampbell 
on The centre opened a destructive rire. but Ferguson re- 
s R XV sorted to the havonet and forced him back. At that instant. 
'^^ " ' however Shelbv poured in a volley, alike effective, hergu- 
son turned fur'iouslv on this new foe, advancing with the 
bavonet: but Shelbv. having reached the summit ot the 
eminence -Irove the T.ritish along the ridge to where Cleve- 
T- land commanded, and his brave men stopped them m that 

quarter L'ndismaved bv this unexpected resistance, Fergu- 
, son now made a grand rally, his men lighting desperately; 

but all the Whig divisions acting in co-operation, the ior> of jv,,,e ,-ould make but slight impression. Ferguson us^ed the 
'"'"" Shelbv Sevier. Hambnght. and Winston, and Major Shelby, 
and for an hour the battle raged without abatement, .-t 
length the British commander sought to escape on horse- 
back but fell dead trying to force his way. 
The victory The tire oi the beleaguered Tories now slackened, ami 
soon there was unconditional surrender. Ot Ferguson. 
force 300 were killed or wounded: 100 regulars and 70" 
Loyali'^t. were taken, and 1500 stands of arms fell into the 
posse.Mon of the Whigs. The loss of the assailants was 
small but among the killed was Colonel Williams,- ot Soutn 
Carolina, di^tmguished as one of the most active and re.o- 

*Colonel Tame^ William?, a native of Granville County, N. C 
then resid nt in South Carohna. on applicauon had f^J^^^^^ 
North Carolina $.5,000 to rai.e troops tor th^^c ^n.e of ^o^th 
Carolina. He had under him troops ^'^^^^ '%^'f ^.^^^Sam" 
w"!l perhaps; as in South Carolma. (b. R.. XXI. /o. Uratiam . 

Graham. 2^^.) 





lute of the partisan leaders, aiul Major William Chronicle, 
whose loss was greatly lamented. It was night before the 
prisoners were all secured, and the victors slept on the bat- 
tlefield : hut earl\- the next inorninp: thev set off northward 
with their prisoners under the command of Colonel Camp- 

Later, General Gates directed that the eipfht hundred ^..R 
prisoners should be conveyed to h" incastle. \'a. ; but on 
reaching- Surry County they were turned over to Colonel 
Martin ^Armstrong, and within two months all but a hun- 
dred an<l thirty of them were either dismissed, paroled or 
enlisted in the military service for three months. There 
was great hope of using these prisoners for the purposes 
of exchange to set free an equal numi^er held by the British, 
and much disappointment was felt when this design was 
frustrated by Colonel Armstrong's inexpedient conduct: nor ^.g^--"^^' 
did he escape without severe and indignant criticism, and 
the Assembly deprived him of his commission. 

The victory gives great joy 

The movement of the Whigs at the west was not unknown 
to Davie. Sumner, and Gates, and they were in anxious 

Three davs after the battle the news of the victory was s.R- xn. 
brought bv a courier to Sumner at his camp on the Yadkin, xv, 117 
who forwarded it to Gates at Hillsboro. Whatever com- 
ment might be made on General Gates's course up to this 
period, and he was thoroughly execrated by the people, it 
appears that in adversity he rose to the height of the occa- 
sion. With resolution and promptness he was preparing Gates' spirit 
to renew the conflict. With joy and hope he hurried an 
express to Jefferson, then governor of Virginia, bearing 
'•the great and glorious news"; and, urging forward prom- 
ised help, he said: 'AVe are now more than even with the 
cnemv. The moment the supplies for the troops arrive ... I 
shall proceed with the whole to the Yadkin." SmalKvood 
and ^Morgan were already on their way. :Morgan with his 
light infantrv then eighteen miles beyond Guilford Court 
House and SmalKvood with the cavalry was following fast. ^ ^^ 

A new inspiration pervaded every heart, and wben the xvii;697 

636 XASfl'S ADMlXISTRATIO.y, 1780-81 

1^2 Assembly met. with grateful eulogium on their patrioti-^m 

F.ffcisnf jijid heroism, it resolvcl that Colonels Cleveland, Cami-lull 

tin: victory _ ' i • 

Shelby. Sevier. 1 lambrig-ht. and \\ inston, and 3.Iajor Shelbv, 
should each receive an elegantly mounted sword for their 
voluntary, distinguished and eminent services. 

Indeed, the victory at King's [Mountain was no less ex- 
traordinary as a feat of arms than potent in its results. 
That undisciplined and unorganized volunteers operating 
under neitlier state nor continental authority should have 
achieved sucli a victory over a force equal in numbers. am]-)ly 
supplied with annnunition, ably conimanded and so advan- 
tageously posted, attested the fighting qualities of the un- 
trained inhabitants and gave new hope to who had 
been disappointed at the conduct of the militiamen on other 
fields. It buoyed the hearts of the patriots in that dark 
hour and nerved them to greater efforts for resistance; 
while, on the other hand, not merely were the eight hundred 
Tories who had joined Ferguson ehminated from the con- 
test, but all of the disaffected inhabitants west of the 
Catawba were suppressed during the remainder of the war. 
Ramseur's !\Iill was a disaster to the western Loyalists, but 
King's ^fountain was their conquest, 
s. R., XIV, Nor was this the only catastrophe tliat befell them. 
Colonel Wright, a zealous Loyalist, embodied three hundred 
of the (hsaft"ected at Richmond, in Surry County, and l)egan 
his march to unite with Cornwallis at Charlotte ; but Sumner 
and Davidson hurried detachmen.ts against them, routed 
and dispersed them. 

Cornwallis retires 

s. R., XV, Cornwallis was so hemmed in at Charlotte that for some 

days he received no information of the battle of King's 
Mountain. Luleed. he was also in utter ignorance of what 
was passing in South Carolina, as for nearly three weeks 
he had no intelligence from Camden, every express for him 
having been taken by the active partisan bands in his rear. 
No wonder lie declared Mecklenl)urg "the most rebellious 
section of America." and that Tarleton spoke of it as "a 
veritable hornet's nest." 

When the information reached him of Ferguson's death 



aml the complete annihilation of that corps, he was no less ^J^Z 

shocked than G:rievons!\- disappointed. Xot only did it nn- October 
settle all his plains. l);it it rendered his own situation alarm- 
ing:. Realizing- that he could not rely on the assistance from fgg^;?-^^' 
the inhal)itants which ho. Iiad confid.ently expected, anri 
apprehending- that Xinetv-six would [)e at once attacked, he 
determined to inimediately retire from North Carolina. 
Sc on the evening: of Octoher T2th he abandoned Charlotte 
and turned toward the south. So far the tid^e of good for- 
tune had rushed on without interruption, bring:in.g Inm vic- 
tory and well-earned fame, but now beg-an a series of 
mishaps that led step by step to irretrievalde disaster and 
ultimately to the final aban<lonment of British hopes of sub- 
ju^^ation and an acknowledgment of the independence of the 

Forced bv untoward circumstances to retire from his ad- Vf^^. 
vanced position. Cornwallis found South Carolina ready to ''--' '^3 
rise against Britisii rule. In its dire extremity that State 
had offered to reniain neutral (hiring: tlie contest and to abide 
by the o:eneral result of the struggle elsewhere. Clinton. I'nnisan 
not content with such a submission, required the subdued '^"^* 
inhabitants to enroll tliemselves as Loyalist militia and take sumter 
up arms for the king. Many now determined to throw off 
this yoke and fight, if they must, for the success of the Marion 
American catise ; and partisan leaders were drawing around 
themselves corps of d.etermined patriots that were a menace 
to British occupancy. 

Conteniporaneously with the departure from Charlotte a s. r., xv, 
rainy season set in. and the troops suft'ered severely from ^^' 
sickness, while Cornwallis himself became so ill that he 
had to relinquish the command of his army, committing 
it to the care of Lord Rawdon. It was not until Oc- 
tober 29th that he reached the country lying between 
Camden and Xinety-six, making his camp at W'innsboro 
the more readil;,- to support those two principal posts. 

Leslie in Virginia 

A> there expectation that X''orth Carolina would be 
sulijugated and lieUl. as had been the fate of Georgia and 
South Carolina, it was designed that after that event Corn- 

638 X ASH'S ADMIX [ST RAT 10 X. i-So-S[ 

U^^ wallis would continue his victorious march into X'ir^nni;). 

To keep the .Vmcricans from ctjucentrating against the Earl, 
General Leslie with a considerable force had been des[)atche(l 

thleaTCTcj ^rom Xew York to the Chesapeake. During the month of 
October Leslie had penetrated down the Blackwater to 

i+s^M^^' South Qua}-, and. nearer the coast, to the Great Bridge. 
General Benbury at once embodied his brigade and marclicd 
to oppose him. After the battle of Camden General 
Gregory returned home to the Albemarle section, and now 
he gallantly took the field with hi^ militia and checked Les- 
lie's advance, repulsing the British with some loss on 
Xovembcr 8th at Great Swamp. 

^; ^--J^^' Defeated in his purposes, Cornwallis now desired Lcslit's 
285. 2S;:, _ '^^ ' _ 

292-299,307 aid at the south, but hesitated to order him to come to 
his relief. Clinton, however, left him free to co-operate 
with the southern army, especially as he had been sent to 
the Chesapeake to make a diversion in favor of Cornwallis's 

^4kfor operations. Leslie, knowing that Cornwallis hoped much 

wiimingtcn from the Loyalists on the upper Cape Fear, and that taking 
possession of Wilmington would encourage them to rise, 
determined to transfer his operations to that region. He 

Oct. 2i,i7So therefore sailetl from the Chesapeake on Xovember 23d for 
Wilmington. Cornwallis being ill and the situation of his 
army dangerous, Rawdon. in temporary command, des- 
i: patched vessels to intercept the fleet at Frying Pan Shoals 
and direct Leslie to come to his immediate assistance. So 
it happened that the corps lately operating near Xorfolk 
made an unexpected appearance at Camden. Still further 
to ease Cornwallis. Clinton now hurried a new army under 
General Beneilict AriioKl to the Chesapeake; but for per- 
sonal reasons, as he was obnoxious to the people, Arnold 
soon retired, leaving the command with General Phillips. 

Gates moves forward 

s R.. XV, Quickly following Cornwallis's withdrawal. Gates moved 

'''' ' '° his continentals, niniibering a thousand, to Charlotte, while 

Smallvvood, who had superseded Sumner, much to tlie 

latter's disgust.'*' took post with the militia and Morgan some 

*Sumner, like Cnswell. resented the cippointinent of Smallwood a- 
major-general of the militia and declined to serve under him. so 
when Smallwood readied his camp Sumner returned liome. 


at New 

fifteen miles fartlier to the front, calling- his camp Xew 
Providence. General Stevens with live hundred Virginia 
troops, almost naked and unarmed, remained at Hillsboro. 

In the meantime, as the consequence of Gates's misfortune 
at Camden, congress had directed Washington to commit the 
Southern Department to another general and Washington 
appointed Xathanael Greene to that command. Accom- Greene 
panying Greene to the south were Baron Steuben and Light 
Horse Harry Lee with his corps of dragoons, three hundred 
in number. The baron was. however, left in A'irginia to 
conduct operations in that State, which was within Greene's 

The Board of War organized at Hillsboro on Septem- \,^-'^^^ 
ber 1 2th, but soon all the micmbers left except John Penn, 
who for some time conducted military affairs without any ^^^^/'^"^ 
aid. The board relieved Governor Nash largely of his re- 
sponsibilities, and in a measure encroached on his powers. 
It was active in giving direction and stimulating the countv 
offtcers to renewed exertions, and zealously co-operated with 
General Gates and afterward with General Greene in pre- 
paring for defence. 

Cornwallis was thoroughly disappointed with the result Corinv:,i;is's 
of the campaign. He had been led to invade North Caro- mentV" 
lina at that time because of the dilncultics of a defensive 
war, and the hope that the Tories in North Carolina, who 
were said to be very numerous, would be active in aiding 
him. The defeat at King's }^Iountain, however, suppressed Tories 


all Tory risings at the west, while to the east Harrington 
and the state militia kept the disaitected much in check ; so 
Cornwallis found that their friendship was only passive, 
and he derived little assistance from their co-operation. He 
reported that only about two hundred had been prevailed on 
to join his camp. His chief difficulty, however, was the 
absence of supplies. These could not be furnished from 
abroad, and his army necessarily had to subsist on the 
country; and in this matter such Loyalists as engaged with 
him were found very efticient and a great help to his dis- 
tressed troops. 

640 XJ.SirS .lP}[[.\'ISTR.rnC>.\. i;So-8i 

irSo Arrival of Greene 

s^R., XV, (general (jixcne reached Charlotte on Decemljcr 2<]. aiv! 
at once Gates dcpartC'l northward. The new general imnie- 
diately began to take measures for the organization and 
etiiciency of his army. 

Greene in His orcsence inspired zeal and confidence. Colonel 

coiiiniand ... 

who accompanied him, in his "IMemoirs" says: "This illus- 
trious man had now reached his thirty-eighth year. In 
person he was rather corpulent, and above the common size. 
His complexioti was lair and florid ; his countenance serent- 
and mild, indicating a goodness which seemed to shade an 1 
soften the fire and greatness of its expression." Every cle- 
ment combined to conmiend him to the good-will and affec- 
tions of his soldiers, 
s. R., XV', Xhe neighboring country was so bare that General 

I73i '74. J^S . , 

Greene's first step was to request the Board of War not to 
call out any more militia until satisfactory arrangements 
were made to subsist the troops. Writing to Washington, 
he reported that: ""Xothing can be more wretched and dis- 
tressing than the condition of the troops, starving with cold 
and hunger, without tents and camp equipage. Those of the 
\'irginia line are literally naked. A tattered remnant of 
some garment, clumsily stuck together v>-ith the thorns of the 
locust tree, forms the sole covering of hundreds, and we 
have three bun Ired men without arms, and more than a 
thousand are so naked that they can be put on duty only in 
case of desperate necessity." To facilitate his purpose of 
transporting supplies he caused the Dan, the Yadkin, and 
the Catawba to be explored, hoping to utilize water trans- 
portation. He established a hospital at Salisbury, and the 
osnaburgs and sheetings in store were distributed among 
the women to be made into shirts for the soldiers. Colonel 
Polk, who was the commissary-general, retired, and Greene 
asked the Board of War to appoint Colonel Davie to that 
most important position, 
s. R., XV, Desiring to cover Cross Creek. Greene fiirected Colonel 
Kosciusko, of the engineers, to select a camp on the Peedee 
where provisions could be obtained, antl after some delay, 
caused b\' terrible rains and bitter cold, on December 20th 

MILITARY . I / 1'l-.M II X TS 64 1 

he broke camp and moved his army to a Icjcatioii at the 'J^J^ 


Morgan had already been advanced l)cyond the Broad January 
with a detachment of three hundred Maryland regulars and 
the A'irginia militia and Washington's dragoons, along with 
some four hundred militia embodied in tiie adjacent counties 
of North Carolina and some others from South Carolina and 
Georgia General Smallwood. whose appointment to the i"s^^,'s^^' 
command of the militia had resulted in the retirement of 
Caswell and Sumner, now himself returned to >dar}lanil in 
order to hasten on re-enforcements and supplies from that 
State, and also to have settled a question of rank ])etween 
himself and Banm Steuben. 

The opening of the new year was not without a bright 
lining to the clou'is that had overcast the skies. There was 
at least a rainl)ov.- of hope in the heavens. Greene was now 
in commami, Morgan in the advance, the State was again 
free from the presence of a hostile army, and renewed zeal 
was apparent among the inhabitants of every section. 

The General Assembly was to have met at Halifax early 
in January, but the meml.)ers arri\-ed so slowly that it was 
the 26th before a quorum appeared. The Board of \\'ar, 
however, was in session and had control of military affairs. 
The army had suffered much from the ineliiciency of the 
commissary department. In each district there was a com- 
missary to obtain supplies, but no general head. General s. r., xiv, 
Greene had urged the appointment of Colonel Davie to be 
commissary-general for the State, but the Board hesitated 
to make such an innovation, not warranted by the act of 
Assembly; but finally, on January i6th, it conferred on that 
active and accomplished young oliicer the ot^ce of "super- ^avie 
intendent commissarv-general.'" Difficidt as was the task '^'^"imi-sary- 
imposed on Colonel Davie he performed it with a capability 
that rendered him one of the most useful men in the army, 
but it removed him from that branch of the service where 
he had won much fame by his daring exi)loits. 

The Council Extraordinary 

On the meetin^T of th.e legislature. Governor Nash com- j.^n., itSt 


plained bitterly that the Board of War had encroached on ^ '^■'^^"' 


'j^^ his powers and duties as governor, and he offered to resii^n. 

t\.?^v. The Assembly thereupon disiicnsed with r.hat board and ^ub- 

X\1\,37S . ,,".,„ ,. I • /-^ 

stituted a Louncil hxtraonhnary. electing Uovernor Laswi.!!, 
Colonel Alexander Martin, and Allen Jones as nicnibcr>. 
Caswell was now a member of the house, and Smallwond 
having left the State, it was proposed to restore Caswell lo 

s. R.,xvii, his former command as maior-gencral of the militia. Indir- 
nant at his tormer treatment, he, however, was not in- 
clined to be complacent; and to placate him the Assembly 
passed a resolution declaring the reasons which had induccil 
the appointment of General Smallwood. "and the high sense 
the Assembly then had and still have of the merits of General 
Caswell, and of the singular services by him rendered thi> 

s. _R.. State" ; and he was appointed again to command the militia, 

and as president of the Council Extraordinary to conduct 
military attairs. 

His health, however, was poor, and his operations lacked 
his former energy. He estaiilished a camp near Halifax, 
and onlered out the various militia brigades, but the zeal 
and force that earlier distinguished his actions were not now 
so apparent. 

He was directed by the Assembly to raise a regiment of 
light horse in the Wilmington and New Bern districts, and 
General Butler one in the Hillsboro district. Colonel Mal- 
medy was appointed to command the latter ami Colonel Read 
the former. Both of these otticers later served in South 

s R., XV, There were many continental officers in the State unem- 
ployed, and as Sumner was the ranking continental Greene 
urged him to have these officers to repair to the camp and 
assist Caswell in organizing the militia. Sumner tendereil 
his own services, and Colonel Ashe and Major Murfree also 
reported to Caswell and placed themselves at his disposal. 
But in addition to the indisposition to put the militia under 
the continental officers, the militia officers themselves held 
out for their own privilege of commanding their organi- 
zations ; so that while a few experienced officers were em- 
ployed, such as r^Iajor Dickson as inspector-general. Major 
Armstrong with the forces at Salisbury, and Colonel Read 
as commander of a regiment of horse, the services of manv 

42s. 4^6 


of the most efficient regulars were not utilized by the State. '2^1 

Sumner hoped for the command of a brigade of militia, but 
met with disappointment. The (General Assembly, however, 
made provision for four new regiments of continentals, and 
extraordinary measures were devised for tilling up the ranks. 

In order to raise these battalions, the Assembly ottered xxiv, 369 
a bountv of £2.000. and promised to every person who .should 
enlist and serve one year "one prime slave . . . and six hun- 
dred and forty acres of land" : and provision was made for a 
draft from the body of the militia for the continental ser- 
vice. A tax in kind was levied, a large i>5ue of bills was 
authorized, and the confiscation act was further suspended. 

No party divisions 

All seemed to vie in patriotic resolve. Indeed, during the 
period of the war. when every nerve was strained to ac- 
complish success, all the public men were in accord, and 
there does not seem to have been any party divisions, except 
between \\'h:gs and Tories. That there were differences in 
council basc'l on policy anrl expediency is probable, extend- 
ing to matters of finance and of taxation and to the treat- 
ment of the disaffected inhabitants : and certainly there were 
clashings arising from the natural ambitions of the leading 
men. But amid the turmoils and alarums of war it is not 
likely that there were discussions between candidates on 
the hustings, and no newspapers were published at that time ^^"..p.per,, 
in North Carolina. One of the differences among the '778-83 
people arose from the uncertain value of the currency, which 
depreciated because of excessive issues. Traders and spec- 
ulators took advantage of the condition of affairs, still fur- 
ther depreciating it, and these became odious among the 
more patriotic inhabitants; but probably none of the public 
men were concerned in such proceedings. 

The course of political action appears to have been influ- 
enced merely by natural considerations. If any divisions 
were evolved at the time of the formation of the State 
constitution, they do not seem to have been fostered and 
perpetuated. They passed away. Caswell and his council 
tendered appointments to Sam Johnston and other con- 
servatives, as well as to their Democratic friends. Allen 


The public 


'Z^ Jones was year by year honoreil by the Assembly, while hi> 

brotlier, W'ilHe. received no particular mark of its cumi- 
iicnce, althouuh Jones County was named for him. Ircikll 
was appointed to the bench, and when he retired jMaclaiiie. 

s. R.,xiv, certainly a conservative, was elected. He declined. recMin- 
niending John Williams, who was in hiij^h favor with ilio 
Assembly. I'n Avery's resig-niny the «)ft]ce of attorney- 
general, Iredell v/as elected to that position. The officers 
first ap])riinted were grenerally re-elected to the >ame ]vi>;i- 
tions. The senate continued year after year of the same 
mind, while Benbury was constantly re-elected speaker of 
the house. In 17S0 Willie Jones and. Sam Johnston, sup- 
posed to be in antagonism, were elected delegates to the 
Continental Congress. Caswell, while governor, wa^ not on 
good terms with Penn. nor later wirh Governor Xash. The 
Assembly, after Camden, deprived him of his command, 
and creating a lioard of War, made Penn a member of it ; 
and Caswell indignantly withdrew from all public empkiy- 
ment. Six months later the Assembly smoothed his ruftled 
feathers, displaced Penn from the board and restored Cas- 
well to power as major-general commanding the state forces 
and as president of the Council Extraordinary charged with 
the direction of military affairs. Next to him. Colonel 
Alexander IMartin was apparentl}' the favorite among the 
representatives. On the promotion of Howe he had become 
colonel of the Second F>attalion, but was charged with bad 
conduct in battle, of which, however, he w^as subsequently 
acquitted. He resigned, and was chosen speaker of the 
senate, next in succession to the governor, and made presi- 
dent of the Board of War. 

Harnett, one of the prime favorites earlier, had been com- 
pelled to with] raw from pul/iic employment because of 
impaired health ; and General Ashe, still mr^re advanced in 
years, likewise was a great sufferer, but continued as treas- 
urer until 1781. ]\[any of the first men in talents and in 
energy, having entered the military service, had become 
separated from the civil administration, while death had 
made considerable inroads in tlie ranks of the patriot leaders. 
During Caswell's administration three years passed with- 
out invasion; and except local manifestations of disaffection 



and the great efforts made to sustain the army and to send 
assistance to Smith CaroHna, it was a period of repose, if 
not of peace. The inhabitants were measnrahly engaged in 
their customarv vocations, the fields were tilled, the courts 
were held the churches were open, schools kept, and the 
people lived much as usual. In general, the inhabitants ^^^^^^ 
reared in the forests had always been dependent on ihcir :776toi7So 
own exertions for the comforts of Hfe. But few articles 
had been imported from abroad, and the isolation of war 
brought no great change in the m.ode of living. Indeed, com- 
merce was still continued, and necessary goods to some ex- 
tent were imported: the spinning-jenny and the hand-loom 
were constantlv employed, and the people were dressed in 
fabrics of their own manufacture. Salt was made on the 
coast, and iron, another essential, was forged at the Gulf, 
in Chatham Countv, in Johnston, in Nash, in Surry, Lincoln 
and other counties' The dividing line between Mrginia and 
North Carolina had been run to the mountains by commis- 
sioners, those on the part of Virginia being General Joshua 
Fry and Peter Jefferson, and on the part of North Caro- 
lin, Daniel Welilon and William Churton : but population extended into the wilderness beyond that line, and in 
1779 commissioners were appointed to continue the line, sep- ^.^?,^. 
aratinsr Washington County from X'irginia, and later Sul- "3- -^^4. 300 
divan Countv w-as laid oft. These two counties were to 
extend west 'to the Tennessee or Ohio River— for even then 
the course of those streams v/as not accurately known. 

James Davis continued to publish his newspaper at New ,776-78 
Bern, to print the laws and disseminate information; and 
for the speedv transmission of intelligence posts were estab- 
lished between New Bern and the several counties, while s. r.. xv. 
on special occasions horsemen were employed to carry news "^ 
with despatch. 

During Nash's administration the surrender of Charleston ^^^^Yl^^- 
and the disaster at Camden and the invasion of Mecklenburg tion 
caused distress, and the extraordinary efforts made to or- 
ganize a new army and sustain the troops in the field bore 
hard on the people and brought them to realize more fully 
than ever the dire calamities of war and the doubtful nature 
..f the struggle in which they v.-cre engaged. As the years 

6_i6 X.lSirS AlWnXISTRJTIOX. !-Su-Si 

^ passed many bec^an to despair and g-row weary of the sacri- 

fices they were constantly called on to make. The succc.-sivr 
drafts, the hcav) taxes, the worthless currency, tlic impress- 
ments and the privations of the war disheartened hundrcdi 
who had once been zealous in tlie American cause. 

Dr. Burke's zeal to correct abuses 

s. R.. XV, In July, on the return of Dr. Burke to his home in Orani^e 
County from the Continental Congress, he found the troops 
who had recently arrived from the north in great distress 
for the want of food and forage, and that the quarter- 
masters were committing the most wanton destruction nf 
property. '"Every mouth was tilled v.ith complaints, every 
countenance expressing apprehension, dejection, indii;n;i- 
tion, and despair had the place of the animated zeal" which 
he had before observed. Immediately he interposed h> 
check the abuses, and he undertook that all who should voi- 
untaril}- furnish supplies should be paid without depreciati"n 

July, 1730 ^j^(j should be protected from all violence and injury. Much 
of the situation he attributed to ili-advised acts of tiic 
Assembly passed to restrain speculation, which prevented 
retailers from purchasing from the merchants and put a 
stop to importations. Natural trade and commerce, maiic 
the more necessary by the prevalent conditions, were totally 
arrested, and this evil he sought to remedy. 

s R., XV, The State had ordered out eight thousand militia, one 

'^^' "^ divi>ion of which was already in the field, and the other was 
on its march to the general rendezvous ; but the men were 
without arms, and none were procurable. At that time Gov- 
ernor Xash was at the east, and Dr. Burke urged him to 
come to Hillsboro, attended by his council, where -he woui'i 
be in more close communication with, the army and coulu 
better deal with the important matters of the d.ay. Evcii 
after the return of General Gates from Camden Dr. Burke 
was pressing on that general to correct the irregu.larities ot 
his quartermasters in their dealings v.'ith the people. Hi- 
interposition to protect the inhabitants from unnecessary 
exactions was greatly appreciated, spread his fame and in- 
creased his popularity, and at the next election he reaped his 
reward bv beincr chosen <:rovernor. 


Sam Johnston declines the presidency of Congress ^^' 

III the fall of [780 Willie Jones attcndeil the ContinLiit.-'l 
Congress, hut returned home on the opening of winter. On 
December 29th Samuel Johnston took his seat. The articics 
(if confederation, having been agreed to by all the other 
States, were tnially accepted by ^Maryland on INIarch i, 1781, 
:ind on the day following they were ratified in the Continen- 
i;d Congress by all the delegates from the several states, who 
then signed them on behalf oi their respective states, and 
the confederation went into efifect. For North Carolma they 
were signed by Burke, Sharpe, and Johnston. Samuel 
Huntington, of Connecticut, had been the president of the 
congress under the old system. On July 9th an election 
for president took place under the new system. Although 
Samuel Johnston had been but six months a member of the 
body, such was his recognized capacity, his learning and 
high patriotism that he was chosen by the Continental Con- 
gress its first president under the articles of confed.erntion. 
Unfortunately, circumstances forbade his accepting the high c'-n'j^ress" 
honor, and on the following morning he declined "for such ^'^^-"s 
reasons as the congress regarded satisfactory." The day 
following Johnston found himself constrained to return to 
North Carolina. His family had fled from Edenton, and 
the inhabitants of his immediate section were in such dis- 
tress that he felt compelled to hasten home and share their 
fortunes or aid in repairing them. 


X^Asn's Adminisi:k.\tl(ix, 1780-S1 — Con tinned 

The battle of Cowpens. — Cornwallis pursues Morgan. — The dcatli 
of Daviri.-L^n. — luva.-i(in of tiie State. — Greene crosses the Uan.— 
The endurance of the troops. — Cornwallis at Hillsboro. — On the 
Cape Fear. — The movements of the armies. — Pyle's massacre. — 
Greene at Troublesome Creek. — Battle of Guilford Court House, 
— C'jrnwallis moves east and Greene pursues. — Cornwallis reaclu-s 
Wilmington. Greene goes to South Carolina. — Craig occupies 
Wilmington. — Death of Harnett.— Cornvvalli^'s plans. — Cornwallis 
marches to Virginia. — The inhabitants distressed. — At Edenton.— 
The Whigs rally. — Grtene in South Carolina. — Death of Maj'"ir 
Eaton. — Cartel of exchange agreed on. — Atrocities lead to threats 
of retaliation. — Gregory defends the Albemarle region. 

The battle of Cowpens 
^ StreiiQthcncil by the arrival of Leslie's regiments, and 

Memoirs presscd for provisions, Cornwallis with the opening of the 
222-225, 227 new year deterniined on renewing his campaign. Engaging 
.s.R.,'xvH, Greene's attention \^•ith Leslie's corps, he threw Tarleton 
on ^Morgan, while he prepared to advance, hoping to sep- 
arate the American colnmns and beat them in detail. On 
January 17th Tarleton. confident of easy victory, came np 
with 3.Iorgan at the Cowpens, near the Xorth Carolina line, 
some forty miles west of Charlotte; but after a stubliorn 
contest of fifty minutes his famous corps, that had been 
regarded as invincible, was broken and dispersed and the 
larger part of it taken prisoners. In arranging for the 
battle ^Morgan established at his front two light parties df 
militia, one hundred Xorth Carolinians under Majnr 
McDowell, of Burke County, and about fifty Georgians 
under Major Cunningham. To these picked riflemen were 
given orders to feel the enemy as he approached and t^> 
maintain a well-aimed fire, and then, when they fell back, 
to renew the conflict along with the first line of battle, ihis 
main line was composed of about two hundred X'ortli Caro- 

31, 292 








4 s*«S 

"^^ - -^.^^ V 



,-:>. ii«.-'.it4';'.*-"'i.--_;' 

1. B^N'A.>TKK TaR1.E10> 

3. Dasiel Mokgan 

2. HoKATio Gates 

4. Charles, Marquis Cornwallis 


!:,• militia and near a hundred S'mth Carolinians, and was ^ 

;i Wr the command of General Andrew Pickens. Furtlier 
: the rear, on the crown oi an eminence, were posted the 
: rre hundred }klaryland recrulars and two companies of 
\ iririnia militia and a company of Geor2:ians. all commanded 
\'V Colonel Ploward. of IMarylanrl. Washington's :avalry, 
reinforced by a company of mounted militia, wa.t held in 
reserve. The field of battle was a sparse, open p.'ne forest, 
..;id the bric^Iu beams of the rising sun heralded the opening 
ri a glorious day. 

Tarleton on reaching th.e ground impetuously rushed on 
;•) strike his prey. On being attacked, the advanced riflemen, 
.ifter some skirmishing, fell back and joined the main line 
under Pickens. The enemy, shouting, rushed forward, but 
were received by a close and heavy volley ; their advance 
■.\as not checked, however, and resorting to the ba}'onet, they 
'Irove Pickens's line from its position. A part of that corps 
t"ok post on Howard's right, and as Tarleton pushed for- 
ward he was received with unshaken firmness. The contest 
t'lcame obstinate, each party, animated by the example of 
it-i leader, nobly contending for victory. Outflanked, how- 
ever. Howard's right began to yield, and the line retiring, 
.Morgan directed it to retreat to the cavalry. There a new 
(M^sition was assumed with promptness. Mistaking this 
movement for tlight, the British rushed on with impetuosity 
T'nd disorder. As they drew near Howard faced about and Howard 
I'oured iti a close and murderous volley. Stunnerl by this 
"nexpected shock, the advance of the enemy recoiled in con- 
tusion, and Howard's continentals rushe<l upon them with 
die bayonet. The British reserve, having been brought close 
t') the front, shared in the destruction of the American fire, 
and there was no rallying point offered for the fugitives. 
At the rear the battle also went well. Two companies of 
larleton's ca\alry having made a detour to cut off the 
Americans, A\'ashington struck them with his dragoons and 
'ri've them before him. Thus simultaneously the British 
iiH"antry and cavalry engaged were routed. Morgan with 
i'romptness and resolution urged his victorious troops to 
^fncwcd efforts, and the pursuit became vigorous and gen- 
'-ral. Colonel Washinirton bavin"- dashed forward fullv 

650 X ASH'S .IDM I Xj'ST RATION, lySo-S! 

U^ thirty yards ahead of his troops, Tarleton, in the rear of hi> 

own, attended by two ofticers, turned and advanced to nicci 
him. Here a personal conte>t ensued between these two 
heroes of the battlefield. Uoth, however, escaped the im- 
minent peril. An anecdote has been prcser\ed that some 
months later, when Tarleton was at Halifax, he remarked 
to the wife oi Willie Jones that he understood redoubt- 

H^rN^'c ^^^^ leader. Washington, could nut write, whereupon Mr-. 

11,186 Jones replied: •'You at lea>t. sir. can bear witness that he 

can make his mark." referring to a wound Tarleton re- 
ceived on his hand in that encounter. Turning then to Mrs. 
Ashe, the colonel said that he had never had the pleasure of 
meeting Washington, and she answered quickly: "Had you 
looked behind you at Cowpens you would have seen him." 
The loss of the Americans was comparatively small, the 
British, it was supposed, shooting too high — only 11 killei] 
and 61 wounded. The British sutTered much more severelv : 
150 were killed, 200 \vounded, and 400 prisoners, chiefly 
infantr}-. The artillery, 800 muskets, 2 standards. 35 bag- 
gage wagons and 100 dragoon horses, besides the prisoners, 
fell into Morgan's possession. 

A part of Tarleton's horse that had early tied from the 
field of battle carried information of the disaster to Corn- 
wallis. That general fully realized the reverse following so 
quickly the destruction of Ferguson's corps. A peer of the 
British realm, trained from early youth to arms, now in his 
forty-second }'ear, a man of great ability and self-poise, 

^'' ' always accustomed to independent action and relying on his 
own judgment, he was quick to decide the course to be 
pursued. He resolved by celerity of movement to regain 
his prisoners or to cut off Morgan's force before it could 
be joiTied by the other part of Greene's army. On being 
joined by Leslie he moved with despatch toward the fords 
of the Catawba. 

Cornwallis pursues Morgan 
Lee's Immediatelv after the engagement iMorgan had hurried 

Memoirs, ' ^ . ,■" . . . ^. 1^1, 

933 a. messenger to ureene with news ot his victory, and that 

general, comprehending the situation, on the 25th directed 
General Huger to conduct the army to Salisbury, while lie 


l:iinsclf with a few dra^^oons hastened to the scene of active 'J^^ 

,, Iterations. 

Morg-an. intent on evadini^ pursuit, despatched his prison- s. R.,xvTr, 
crs under i:^uard of General Stevens and the mihtia north- 
ward beyond the South }>[ountains toward Morganton. 
Reaching the state road, Stevens turned eastward, crossing 
ilie Catawba at Island Ford ;* and thence the prisoners were 
conveyed beyond the Dan into Mrginia. The general him- 
self with his continentals pursued a lower route, and forded 
the Catawba at Sherrili's. On the 28th Cornwallis reached 
the vicinity of Beattie's Ford, ten miles below, and there 
rested. He now determined to convert his army into light 
troops bv destroying his baggage. He set the example him- ■ 
self by committing to the flames the baggage of head- 
([uarters. Everything save a small supply of clothing, hos- 
pital stores, salt, ammunition, and conveniences for the sick 
was destroyed. 

On the afternoon of the 31st General Greene arrived at Graham's 

.,_^,, , . ^. i-\r Graham, 

P.eattie s Ford, where by appomtment General Morgan was 286 
waiting for him. By Greene's direction. General Davidson, 
who had collected about five hundred militia, divided his 
force and stationed some at different fords, of which there 
were several to be guarded. He himself with about two 
hundred infantry took post at a horse ford some two miles 
flistant from Cowan's Ford, where a small picket force was 

The death of Davidson 

At dawn of February ist the Brhish army began to cross, s. r.xvii, 
The first movement was by way of Cowan's Ford, and the 
pickets there gave speedy notice by their prompt tiring. 
Davidson hurried to the scene with his infantry, he himself 
being on horseback. The enemy's vanguard had already 
reached the eastern bank before his arrival, and there was 
desultorv firing while he was placing his men in position. 
The British advance now pressed on Davidson's unformed Graham? 
line, and that practised officer ordered his men to withdraw -93 
about fiftv yards to the cover of some trees, where they could 
fight to better advantage. Hardly had he given his order 

*In the vicinity of Statesville. 


!;!l when he fe:i. pierced by a ritie ball. He was a trained con- 

tinental officer, courageous, efficient and enterprisin!^^ an-l 
he was nmch beloved by the inhabitants of his section and 
£,^reatly esteemed thron^hout the State. His death was a 
£^eat^loss to the American cause and was widely lamented. 
the Continental Congress itself ordering a monument to be 
erected as a memorial of his distinguished worth. 

The invasion of the State 

Havmg effected a crossing-. Cornwailis hurried toward 

Salisbury, hrjping to overtake Morgan, who moved tlic 

evening before. While the opposition to. his crossing had 

not delayed him, it had been so strenuous that the next day 

in general orders he made his warmest acknowledgments 

to the cool and determined bravery of the advance coluniP. 

in accomplishing it. 

oX^Book* On entering Xorth Carolina his Lordship issued frequent 

i!.> . orders forbidding excesses bv anv of his tro(^ps. Xo ne^'-r<> 

Old Nurii, was to be allowed to have arms. The strictest di'^cipline was 

St.T.e. II, , . ' '■ 

3Qw/.vy. to be entorced. and there was to be no wanton destruction 
^^-*""^ of property or any unnecessary exactions from the inhab- 

'^*"' • ■ itants. He came, he said, to establish and maintain the 

rights of the people as liritish subjects, and his armv should 
not be disgraced !)y any outrages. He required the punish- 
ment of any soldier or camp follower wdio should disobey 
his orders in this respect. 

In the meantinie Huger had been directed by Greene to 
move on to Guilford Court House or the fords of the Yad- 
kin and there await further orders. At midnight of the ist 
Greene left the Catawlja for Salisbury. An anecdote is 
related in Johnson's '"Reminiscences"' that on his arrival at 
the tavern in that hamlet, in rei)ly to inquiries of Dr. Read. 
the general could not refrain from answering: "Yes, 
fatigued, liungry, alone and penniless." The benevolent 
landlady. 'Mrs. Steele, overheard this remark, and hardly 
was the general seated at a comfortable breakfast when 
she presented herself, closed the door, and exhibiting a small 
bag of specie in each h.and. said : "Take these, for you will 
want them, and I can do without them." Such was the 


>j)irit that had ever animated the patriotic women of ^^^i 


There had been heavy rains on February ist. and ]Mor- 
•^on's continentals passed the Yadkin at Trading Ford, 
»c\en miles from Sahsbur)-, just before the stream rose 
rniiidly from the Hood. 

Some of the militia, being the rear detachment, were over- Graham's 

• 1 1 '111 /"^ 1 "A » T T t Graham, 

taken atter mght at the river bank by General U rlara, who 300 
was in hot pursuit, and a slight skirmish ensued. While 
the Americans succeeded in escaping, the wagons and bag- 
gage of that detachment fell into the hands of the enemy. 
The river being impassable, Greene, now safe, rested on the "'.'^^'" . , 

<r> r ' _ unites with 

eastern bank and tiien moved toward the upper fords, where' Oreene 
lic knew Cornwallis must go in order to cross. The British 
commander, debarred from crossing lower, also turned 
northward and pursued the road on the western side of 
the river. Time having been thus aftorded for Huger's 
arrival, Greene marched eastward and reached Guilford 
Court House on the "th, where Huger joined him later on 
that day. 

Greene crosses the Dan 

The united force of Americans, including five hundred 
militia, somewhat exceeded twenty-three hundred men, 
of whom nearly three hundred were excellent cavalry. 
Cornwallis's army was estimated at twenty-five hundred 
trained veterans. At a council of war held by Greene Lee's 
it was determined not to give battle, but to cross the Dan ,36"^^""?- 
and await the arrival of more militia. Colonel Carrington 
was directed to collect boats for the passage at Irwin's Ferry, 
some seventy miles distant and well to the eastward ; and 
in order to delay pursuit a light corps of seven hundred 
men was organized, the command of which was offered to 
General Morgan. General Morgan had been in retirement 
from illness when, at the instance of congress, in October 
he accepted employment at the south, and the exposure to 
which he had been sulijected now resulted in an attack of 
rheumatism, which incaj-)acitated him for this active duty. 
He therefore declined the conmiand, and retired to his home 
in Viririnia. Colonel Otho Williams was then selected to 


^ conduct the operations of that corps. He so ni:ui(i.'iuTr.| 

that the British conimanilcr mistook his detachnu.'nt : • 
Greene's main body, antl he delaxed the pursuit !:r;.; 
Greene on Febrnar_\ i3tli succeeded in crossin;^^ the L).-; 

The pursuit Morc than once was Wilhams's rear cruard. Lee's U^-.-: 
within musket shot of O'Hara's van, and it was with i\:;v, 
culty that the men were restrained from brino-iim- on a:, 
engagement: but that was no part of Wilhams's nurpo^i- 
Eventually he. too. about three o'clock on the evenini: •■! 
the 13th, reached the vicinity of the ferry, and by sun-it 
his infantry gained the river and were transported. I.^-- 
had been left to keep the enemy in check, and about Am'^ 
', he succeeded in withdrawing his cavalry, and between ei;.:!!! 
• , and nine o'clock that night his men embarked in the bou- 
making the horses swim the stream. Thus ended this !'>:'..: 
arduous and eventful retreat. "Xo operation duriiii; t'; 
f war," says Lee in his "^Memoirs," "more attracted the pulu.o 
attention than this did : not only the toils and dangers cti 
countered by a brave general and his brave army intcrc^tci 
the sympathy of the nation, but the safety of the Souiii 
hanging on its issue, e.xcited universal concern." "WIu-ti 
we add the comfortless condition of our troops in point "i 
clothing — the shoes generally worn out, the body clothe- 
much tattered, and not more than one blanket for four men — 
the rigor of the sea.son, the inclemency of the weather, our 
short stock of ammunition and shorter stock of pr<ivi-i'in> — 
the sinde meal allowed us was alwavs scantv though gotxl in 
qualitv and very nutritious, being bacon and corn meu— 
and contrasted with thecomfortableraiment and ample eiunp- 
ment of the enemy. . . . we have abundant cause to hon'-r 
the soldier whose mental resources smoothed every ditificult\. 
and ultimately made good a retreat of two hundred a::'- 
thirty miles . . . without the loss of either troops or stores. 
This tribute to General Greene is but the e.xpresMoii * ! 
the universal praise which has been bestowed ujiun th;i' 
great commander, not only by his countrymen but by U'c 
agreeing voices of all men: and yet something, too. i^ • ■ 
be said of those suffering patriots who constituted the rar.s 
and file of his gallant army. Their endurance, their u;^ 
flagging zeal, their spirit of self-sacrifice, entitle them '- • 

at HilUburo 


unstinted praise and the grateful remenibrance of pos- Ufji 


Writing to Washington immediately on his arrival at 
Irwin's Ferry, Greene himself said: "The miserable situa- 
tion of the troops, the want of clothing, has rendered the 
march the most painful imaginable, many hun(h:.'ds of the 
soldiers tracking the ground with their bloody feet. Your 
feelings for the sufferings of the soldiers, had you been wiih 
us, would have been severely tried." 

Cornwailis, baffled in his purpose, yet appareiitly master 
of the situation, took post at Hillsboro, where lie erected 
the king's standarfl with great formality, saluting it with 
twent}'-one guns, and Josiah }ilartin. who had accompanied 
him, once more essayed to enter upon the administration of 
his office as ro\-al governor. But neither the commander nor 
the governor was to receive nuich comfort. 

The British on the Cape Fear 

While these matters of moment were passing at the west, 
the east as well had become greatly disturbed. Although 
General Leslie had in November been diverted from occupy- 
ing the lower Cape Fear, that purpose was not abandoned, 
and contemporaneously with Arnold's invasion of the Chesa- 
peake and Cornwallis's advance, such a movement was 
undertaken. With a fleet of eighteen sail, carrying four 
hundred regulars, artillery and dragoons. Major James H. 
Craig was despatched to occupy Wilmingron. His vessels 
reached the harbor toward the last of January, and on 
the 28th he approached the town. Taking possession, he at '7«i 
once began to fortify by erecting batteries on the hills to 
the north and south, and so strengthened himself that he 
could not be attacked with any hope of success. At that 
time it was also apprehended that there would be a move- 
ment in the interior from Camden, and such stores as the 
Americans had to the southward were moved across the 
Cape Fear River. Aroused by the presence of their British 
friends, the Tories of Bladen and Anson became active, and 
it required strenuous efforts on the part of the local leaders 
to suppress them. General Lillington at once called out the 
militia of that section, but so manv of them had been taken 



^ at Chark:ston and were on parole, and the coi:n:ry had b;;f,n 

so drained of adherents of the W hij^ cause. t:";:.t but a small 
force ccHiId be collcctetl. To keep Crai^^ in check. General 
Caswell was ordered with the New Bern brii;:ade and Gen- 
eral Butler with the Hillsboro brigade to t';:e assistance of 
Lillington. Such was the situation when Cornwaliis was 
pursuing Greene across the western part cf the State and 
invading the western counties. 

Movements of the armies 

Graham's After Davidsou's death, although the militia of the west- 

3JI ' ern district had no commander, some seven hundred of tliem, 

all horsemen, collected in the rear of the British army, and 

in the absence of a brigadier chose General Andrew Pickens, 

of South Carolina, as their commander. In :;-.e troop was 

a company under Captain Graham that subsequently became 

s R., greatly distinguished. They followed the route taken by 

XXII, 123 Cornwallis through Salem and Guilford Court House, and 

reached Hart's Mills, near Hillsboro. about the time that 

Cornwallis established himself at that place. 

Graham's There, On Februarv22d, Lee's corps was joined to Pickens's 

Graham, - .,,... . 

317 brigad.e. all under the command of the nngaaier-general. 

Other re-enforcements of Xorth Carolina miiiria were also ex- 
pected, and to facilitate their union and re-esiab'.ish confidience. 
three davs after Cornwallis entered Hillsboro Greene himself 
•••; "i crossed the Dan and passed to the west of hi? -idversary. In 

g p response to Cornwallis's call. the Tories 'began to embody. and 

xxii', i4t some two hundred of them were collecting under Dr. Pyle 
in Chatham and western Orange w hen Lee an,l Pickens were 
advancing into that section. Tarleton. hearing that the 
Whigs proposed to suppress the Tory risirtiT. moved out 
to protect Dr. Pyle and his recruits. Ignorant of the move- 

k"'^ ■ ment of the Tories. Lee pursued his wav to the southward. 

Memoirs, ^ 

2S3 and on the 24th. at a point south of the Hav.-. near the site 

of the present town of Burlington, accidentally the 
Tories in the road. who. expecting Tarletcn, and with no 
information of the presence of anv W'his" ::rce. arranged 

CD ' " - * . J 

xxii', 124 themselves along the road to allow their 5urp.')?ed tnends 
Gr..ham's to pass. As soou as Lee's dragoons ha 1 reache\i the ex-, trcmity of the Tory line, the character cf T;:e Loyalists being 



fliscovered. a siirnal was made for an onslaught, and Pvle's 'Jl' 

unsuspecting' men were quickly despatched. Ninety of them f"<-'j'-u"-y 
were killed outright and most of the survivors were Massacre of 

. . Pyle s 

wounded. Those not thrown to the ground dispersed in Tories 
every direction, but were not pursued. Lee lost in this 
slaughter only one horse — not a single man. At the time 
Tarleton was hardly a mile distant, liut lie was not advised 
of the encounter or of the presence of a Whig force until 
some fugitives brought him information. 

Greene established himself between Tniublesome Creek 
and Reedy Fork, in the vicinity of Guilford Court tLv/ase. s..meCreek 
having his light corps interposed between his main army 
and Cornwallis. His report of men fit for duty on the rjth 
indicated a thousand continentals, less than two hundred 
cavalry au'l a hundred mounted infantry — an effective force 
of some fourteen hundred men ; but he was expecting a 
regiment oT regulars from \'irginia that had been hurried 
forward and several thousand militia to join him. Gen- 
eral Butler's brigade, that had been despatched to the assist- 
ance of Liilington was ordered to return to the w-est, and 
the Halifax brigade was collecting for the march. Gen- 
eral Allen Tones, having to return, invited Sumner to take ^- ^•' ^^'• 
command, but General Eaton claimed the right and refused 
to relinquish it. Colonels William Campbell and Preston. Re-enfnrce- 
of \'irginia. were also hurrying to Greene's camp, as well 
as smaller detachments under ^Majors Winston and Arm- 
strong. General Stevens, too. who had conveyed the prison- M^^oirs, 
ers taken at Cowpens to a place of security, was now return- ^''^ 
ing with hi^ brigade of \'irginia militia. To prevent the 
junction of these re-enforcements and to strike Greene before 
he was lu.rther strengthened, on Februar\- 26th Cornwallis 
himself marched to the westward, establishing his head- 
quarters at Hawkins's, to the west of Alamance Creek. 
Doubtless he also hoped for accessions from the Tories. One 
band of Loyalists from Deep River, consisting of about a 
hundred, approached his camp im a night march. But o"ham!'^ 
Graham's CL-mpany had been so bold and daring, even in 339 
the vicinity ^r^x the British headquarters, that a troop of Tarle- 
ton's drag'~x"'ns. discovering the approach of an unknown 
body of men at night, thought them Graham's troop, and fell 


'jsj on them and hacked up about thirty 01 the LoyaUsts before 

the mistake became known. As Pyle's Tories had suffered 
by mistaking- Lee for Tarleton, so this party from Deep 
River suffered at Tarleton's hands by being mistaken for 
Graham's company. These mishaps tended to dissipate the 
zeal of the Tories, so that but few united with the British 
army. Indeed, CornwaUis was so disappointed at the luke- 
warmness of the Regulators, from whom he had expected 
much aid, that he wrote to Clinton: 'T could not get one 
hundred men in all the Regulators' country t'j stay with us 

loii" ' even as militia."' 

Graham's To avoid a battle until read}'. Greene directed tiie several 

33',^ '""' detachments of his army to be constantly in motion, chang- 
ing their location every night, so that CornwaUis would not 
know where to strike. During the period of manoeuvring 
there were several affairs between the cavalry and Tarleton's 
legion : one at Clapp's Mill on March 2d, followed by sev- 
eral minor collisions the next day ; and at Whitsell's Mill 
on March 6th there was a hotly contested battle. In these 
encounters Pickens's brigade, embraciiig Graham's troc-pers, 
participated with much credit. 

But the time of that brigade expired on the y\, and after 
remaining a few days longer, the men were dismassed and re- 
turned to their homes. 

Battle of Guilford Court House 

Finally, about March 7th, the British commander moved 
farther west, near the Quaker settlement at New Garden ; 
and four days later Greene, having been joined by sufficient 
Lee's reinforcements, prepared to give him battle. Several im- 

^^emoirs, poftaut highways met at Guilford Court House, and on the 
14th Greene took post on the Xew Garden, or Salisbury, 
road loading to the west from that liamlet. Pie had carefully 
selected his ground ; indeed, it is thought that on his hasty 
march some weeks before he had chosen that battlefield. 
For his first line he placed on tlie right of that road Eaton's 
militia, and on the left Butler's, both being protected by a 
rail fence that skirted an open field which lay in their front. 
On either dank there were stationed some three hundred 
regulars to give stability to the militia. In the rear of this 






>JK :«i ..■■*iV;,.rfa,ji'-v, 



1. guilfckd colkt hol'sk battlefield to-day 
2. Nathanael 


line there was a woodland, in which three humlred yards Ut' 

distant he posted the Mrginia mihtia under Lawson and March .5th 
Stevens; while the continentals were reserved for his main 
line some five hundred yards still farther to the rear. 

The British moved with precision, being well-trained vet- 
erans. Cornwallis"? own regiment was renowned and had 
fought many battles. The Welsh Fusiliers, distinguislu.-d by 
having the Prince of Wales nominally for its colonel, was 
commanded by Colonel Webster, one of the most accom- 
plished ofticers in the army. The Seventy-first Scotch High- 
landers, known in the annals as the Black Watch, had a 
record of great glory ; and the Queen's Guards, com- 
manded by Colonel Stuart, was a famous corps. The 
field pieces, as usual, began the engagement. As the 
British regulars advanced with fixed bayonets, they gained 
the open field and approached within forty yards before 
perceiving the North Carolina militia behind the fence. For h"^- 

' "^ ^_ .Memoirs, 

a moment the two lines stood in silence, then Webster, as ^77. ^so 

gallant in action as wise in counsel, orderetl a charge, and 

his troops rushel forward, receiving a inii: fire from the Lr.mb's 

American line. Dreadful was the havoc on both sides at Rev.', '36^' 

this initial point of the conflict. The fire on the right was Schenck's 

deadly, some of the Americans fighting like heroes. The Carolina, 

militia, however, speedily broke before the British ba}onets, '7^0-81,345 

Eaton first, then Butler's, and retreating, passed through the irecie" i, 

Mrginians posted in their rear, throwing them into con- *"^^ 

r •" T .,-... ..." , s. R..XVII, 

tusion. Lawson s \ irgmians likewise gave way, but 

Stevens's brigade ma'le a firm stand. Eventually the}', too, 
were pressed back on the continentals. Here the Second 
Maryland Battalion, a new organization, never before under 
fire, followed the example of the militia ; but the First Mary- 
land, after a well-directed volley, charged with the bayonet, 
routed the enemy and pursued them. Bloody and fierce now 
was the battle, the continentals and Washington's cavalry 
fighting with courage and resolution seldom surpassed. The 
British loss bears witness to the valor of tlieir foe. Greene's 
army had, however, been severed into detached fragments, 
and he feared to risk a prolDugation of the contest. The 
enemy rallying and threatening his rear, he prudently and 
skilfullv withdrew his forces from the field. 



'J^J A siniilarity is lo be observeii on tlic Americaii side be- 

tween the arrangement of the troops in this and in the battle 
of Cowpens. an-l also in the course of events during the 
progress of the battles up to the breaking of the Second 
Maryland Continentals. But on the Britisli side there was 
much difiference. At Cowpens the action of Tarleton's corps 
was not compare' ^:e to the steady conduct of the regulars 
in this great battle, comprising some of the most famous or- 
ganizations in the history of the British army. Apparently 
they might have been destroyed, but could not have been 
driven from the neld. 
Great The American loss was 14 officers and 312 of the con- 

siaiig ter tiueutal ttoops ki'ied. wounded and missing. ]\fany of the 
militia were missing, although no prisoners were taken. Of 
the militia. 4 captains and 17 privates were reported killed, 
a dozen officers and 60 privates wounded, as was also Brig- 
adier-General Stevens. The slaughter of the British was 
much greater. The official report states their loss at 532, of 
' ; whom 93 v/ere left dead on the battlefield. Colonel Stuart 
and Lieutenant <J"Hara, brother to the general, and many 
other officers, were killed outright : but few escaped without 
wounds. Many, among them Colonel W'ebster. died of their 
■ wounds. Seldom has an army surtered so severely. At the 
~ outset there was terrible slaughter, the Highlanders being 
■ piled upon each otlier. In the progress of the battle Corn- 
■^ vvallis himself was unhorsed, his guards lay weltering in 
their blood, the gallant W'ebster on the ground. OTIara 
disabled by his v.-ounds. Tarleton with a rifle ball through 
J his hand. Ho\var';i borne off the field, and Stuart still in 
death. The rank and file suffered alike. But the culmina- 
tion of the carnage was in the final encounters of that fate- 
Lee's ful day. It the immolation of an army of veterans 
^^eraoirs, i^tcnt ou victorx". The battle being joineci, Cornwallis re- 
solved on destruction rather than defeat; and while he 
gained the victon.'. he lost his army^ 
The terrible The uight succeediug this day of blood was dark and 
cold, much rain falling. The dead lay unburied, the wounded 
unsheltered, and the groans of the dying and the shrieks 
of the living cast a deeper shade over the gloom of nature. 
Fatigued as the British troops were, without discrimination 



they took the best care of the fallen soMiers the situation IJ^ 

admitted ; but without tents and the houses being fcvv, many 
of both armies were exposed to the deluge of rain, and it 
was said that not less tlian fifty died during the ni[;ht. The 
next morning was spent in burying the dead and in provid- 
ing comfort for the wounded, Cornwallis paying equal aLten- 
tion to friends and foes. He was a man of generous and ^^ ^^.^^^ 
lofty spirit, and rancor was foreign to his nature. In Parlia- 1007 
ment he had been a friend of America and had opposed the 
measures of the ministry. Now he treated the fallen with- 
out discrimination. The dead being buried, he returned to 
New Garden, leaving some seventy of his wounded, incapa- 
ble of being moved, to the humanity of General Greene. 
There on the iSth he issued a proclamation calling on the 
Loyalists to return actively to their duties and contribute to 
the restoration of government.* 

On the 1 8th he began to move eastward by easy marches, 
having care for the comfort of his wounded, and being p^^s^J'/^ 
obliged to subsist on the country. Greene at once notified Comwaiiis 
Colonel Lee: 'T mean to fight the enemy again, and wish 
you to have your legion and riflemen ready for action on 
the shortest notice." But it was not until the 20tli that he 
could move, for ammunition had to be supplied, cartridges 
made and provisions collected. In tlie ineantime Lee's legion 
and Campbell's riflemen pressed the rear of the British 
commander, who dared not hazard another encounter. 

Willie Jones, who after the battle was appointed lieu- 
tenant-colonel of Read's militia re2:iment. wdiile on the pur- T'^^f Tf'r 

o I Iredell, 1, 

suit wrote : "We expect to come up with them in a dav or two *'^9 
and to take a part, if not the whole British army." The 
men were now in fine spirits, and were so resolute that 
had Greene overtaken Cornwallis the British army would 
doubtless have been destroyed and Ramsey's ]Mills would 
have been an historic spot. 

On the night of the 22d the British army lay at Dixon's 
Mills, on Cane Creek, in Chatham County. From there it 

*Corn\va!!i?; wrote to Clinton: "Many of the inhabitants rode into vv't 

camp, sliook me by the hand, said they were ghid to see us, and to ,^("'' " 
hear that we had beat Greene, and then rude home atrain." 

662 XASI-rS I ox, lySo-Si 

^ marched to IMttsboro. and thence to Ramsey's -Mills.* Here 

Cornwallis found it necessary to build a bridge and to collect 
supplies to carry him across the barrens to Campbellton. So 
Revo.° quick had been his pursuers on the track that while he was 
County'" y^^ ^t Ramsey's Greene reached Rigsden's Ford, on Deep 
L^g., River, twelve miles above, but hesitated to cross, uncertain 

Memoirs, of Comwallis's iutentions. The bridge completed, the Brit- 
ish commander, tinding himself in peril, decamped with such 
speed that he left some of his dead unburied, and was unable 
to burn the bridge l)ehind him. The next day. the 28th, 
Greene's main force arrived ; but it was considered impos- 
sible to subsist his army in the wake of Cornwallis's, and the 
pursuit was reluctantly discontinued. 

At Cross Creek Cornwallis suffered another disappoint- 
c- « V1.TT nient in finding that his Lovalist friends were vet passive 
loii and had not brought m supplies tor his army. He remained 

''^' there several days, and then departed for Wilmington, where 

he arrived on April jth. On the way it became his painful 
duty to bury the remains of the lamented Colonel Webster, 
who, borne on a litter between two horses, was found dead 
near Elizabethtown. The interment was on the plantation of 
Colonel Waddell. 
souVh"''^''" Greene re>ted his army for a week, dismissed nearly all 
of his militia, and just as Cornwallis was entering Wilming- 
ton set out to recover South Carolina. At his camp on 
Deep River he left General Butler, who remained for some 
weeks on dut}' at that post. But notwithstanding Greene's 
McRse's departure from Xorth Carolina, there was no relaxation in 
497 ^' ' ' efforts to strengthen his army. The council ordered that 
s. R., XV, those of Butler's and Eaton's brigades who had abandoned 
their posts at the battle of Guilford Court House should be 
drafted into the continentals for twelve months : and four 
days after Greene marched Butler sent forward two hun- 
dred and forty of these twelve months' continentals, and 
on the same day Major Pinketham Eaton received in Chat- 
ham a hundred and seventy of Eaton's brigade and con- 
ducted them to the south. This corps, reduced somewhat 
by desertions, under Major Eaton, later performed excellent 
service, especially at Augusta. 
*No\v Lockville. 

434. 440. 443 


Arriving- in South Carolina. Greene, divininij tlie probable 1^ 

movement of Cornwallis. directed Sumner that if the British 
general sliould come south to the relief of Rawilon he should 
hurry with every availal)le man to his assistance ; but if 
Cornv.allis marched to \'irginia, then Sumner with his con- 
tinental drafts should go to the aid of Baron Steuben. 
Greene, as commander of the department, had direction of 
operations in \'irginia as well as in the Carolinas, and he 
ordered Steuben to be very cautious and conser\ativc and 
not to hazard a battle unless under very favorable cir- 

Craig at Wilmington 

The approach of the British fleet bearing Major Craig's 
detachment caused the greatest consternation among the 
Whigs of \\'ilmington, and many families hastened to leave 
the town, seeking safety with friends in the country, while 
others tlioi^ght it mere prudent to trust to the humanity 
of the British ofncers. At that time Brunswick, which con- 
taine^l about sixi_\ houses, was entirely deserted, and Wil- 
mington, where there were about two hundred houses, con- 
tained but a thousand inhabitants. At the first information 
of peril Bloodworth, tlie receiver of the tax in kind, stored 094' 
his commo'lities on a vessel, which he hurried up the North- 
east Branch of the Cape Fear ; but Craig made pursuit, over- 
took and burned the vessel some twenty miles from the 
town. Of the inhabitants a considerable proportion were 
disaffected, and soon a petition was circulated for all to sign. |,- R-- 

. . XXIl, 543 

pra}'ing to be received as British subjects, and those who 
declined this abasement fell under the ban of displeasure. 

Hardly had Craig settled himself on shore before squads pg^th „f 
of troopers were scouring the cotmtry to ari^est those who Harnett 
were particularly obnoxious to the British, and the leading Bjog. Hist, 
patriots fled for safety. Harnett had withdrawn to Onslow °^_,^-^"''' 
County. He had a considerable quantity of public funds 
in his care, and he hastened to place it in safe hands, and 
then proceeded to Colonel Spicer's. There he was seized 
with a fit of his malady, the gout, and became unable to 
travel farther. His place of refuge was betrayed by some 
Loyalist, and he speedily was captured and, notwithstanding 

S. R., XXI. 


^ illness, was conveyed with indi.c^nity t(^ the British quar- 

ters. He suffere'l much ill-treatiuent. whicli his euteebled 
frame could not endure, and a few weeks later dietl, about 
April 30. 1 781. Thus passed away "the Pride of the Cape 
Fear," who from the l)ei::inning had been the ardent advo- 
cate of his country's freedom. 

Similar eff^irts were made to capture every Whiq- of con- 
sequence, and man}' were taken by the Tories and British 
dragoons. But the patriot leaders, while beset by difficulties. 

Liiiingtonat wcrc uot dismayed. General Lillington, having embodied 

Eddgl his militia, toc>k post at Heron Bridge, ten miles up the 

Northeast River, where he was joined by Kenan with the 
Duplin militia and ^Moore with a detachment from Bruns- 
wick and some companies from Onslow ; while Colonel 
Brown sought to hold in check the Tories of Bladen. The 
brigades of Caswell antl Butler were at first ordered to his 
aid, but Cornwallis's operations at the west required that 
all the militia possible should be withdrawn to reinforce 
General Greene, and for a time Lillington v/as left to his own 

About the end of February Craig advanced to dislodge 
him. making a night attack. Lillington's advanced guard 
was surprised and dispersetl, and a smart skirmish occurred 

Letters, 3 at tlic bridge, the British using their artillery on the Whig 
entrenchments on the sid^e of the river. The militia, 


829 ' ' ' however, maintained their position, and at the end of two 
days Craig retired to Wilmington. He had occupied the 
McKenzie place, known as IMount Blake, and when he with- 
drew a party of the Whigs crossed the river and burned that 
residence. Lillington continued quietly in his camp, with 
headquarters at the ]\Iulberry plantation, near by, keeping 
watch and ward. For a time Craig busied himself in con- 
McRee's structing fortifications around Wilmington ; but numerous 
Iredell, I, wcrc thc fora}s of the British troopers, and often murderous 
in their execution. Tradition still survives of the massacre 
at the ""eight-mile house," where butchery as a pastime added 
to the horrors of warfare. Some of the Whigs, too, dis- 
played boldness and enterprise. Bloodworth had kept the 
ferry from Point Peter across the mouth of the Northeast 
River in the outskirts of Wilminirton. and was familiar with 




that locality. Taking post within a large hollow tree on the 2^ 

Point h.e hrcd day after day, across the river, at the troopers 
as they brought their horses to water, several victims fall- 
ing at the unerring hand of their unseen and mysterious foe. 
Finally a party being sent to dislodge him, Bloodworth suc- 
cessfull}- escaped.''" 

Cornwallis's plans 

When the wounded of Cornwallis's army reached Wil- 
mington the church IjuiMing there was converted into a 
hospital, and later it is said w'as used by Craig's cavalry. 

Although Cornwallis had succeeded in avoiding a second 

battle with Greene, he now found himself in a fearful 

dilemma. The generalissimo at the south could not, remain 

inacti\e. He must move either in one direction or the other. 

Conflicting indeed must have been his emotions when reriect- 

ing on his painful situation. He found himself under the 

necessitv of abandoning Lord Rawdon to his fate, and almost 

, - . , , f ... . ....... s. R.,XVII. 

m despair he resolved to seek his own satety m \ irguiia. 1019, 1020 

"By a direct move toward Camden," he wrote, "I cannot 
get time enough to relieve Lord Rawdon ; and should 
he have fallen [back] my army would be exposed to the 
utmost danger." He d\vek on the exhauste<] state of the 
country, the numerous militia, the almost universal spirit 
of revolt and the strength of Greene's army, whose con- 
tinentals alone were as numerous as his own force. Still 
he hoped to draw Greene back from the game of war in 
South Carolina by threatening the interior of North Care- ;" 
lina. He resolved to march by Duplin Court House, point- 
ing toward Hillsboro. expecting that this might lead to 
Greene's return: au'l yet with his depleted ranks he feared 
to meet Greene again in battle. Ultimately he had in view 
to form a junction with General Phillips. But he realized 
that the would be exceedingly hazardous and might 
prove wholly impracticable, and he warned that commander 
not to take any steps "that might expose your army to the 
danger of being ruined." 

On April 23d he wrote to Clinton : "Xeither my cavalry 

*Accordins^ to the tradition as the author heard it ia 1S47, Blood- 
worth, a g-nn.sp.-iith, used a lonuj conical ball for his rifle on that 
occasion. The iniaie ball came into nute some years later. 


'jSj or infantry are in readiness to move : the former are in want 

S.R., XVII, of everything, the latter of every necessary but shoes; ... I 

"" ' ""' must, however. beq:in my march to-morrow. . . . My present 

undertaking sits heavy on my mind ; I have experienced the 

distresses and dangers of marching some hundreds of miles 

^^GuiS i" a country chiefly hostile, without one active or useful 

Hou'e friend, without intelligence and without communication with 

any part of the country. The situation in which I leave 

South Carolina a<ids much to my anxiety, yet I am under 

the necessitv of adopting this hazardous enterprise hastily 

and with tlie appearance of precipitation, as I find there is 

no prospect of speedy reinforcement from Europe and that 

the return of General Greene to North Carolina . . . would 

put a junction with General Phillips out of my power." To 

s^K.,xvii, pj^ijijpg YiQ said: 'O.Iy situation here is very distressing. 

Greene took advantage of my being obliged to come to this 

place, and has marched to South Carolina." 

Indeed. Cornwallis's discomfiture at Guilford Court House 
•: altered the situation so greatly that Clinton wrote to Phil- 

lips tiiat, it has considerably changed the complexion of 
our aftairs to the southward, and all operations to the north- 
ward must probably give place to those in favor of his 
Lordship, which at present appear to require our more im- 
mediate attention." Phillips had with him in \'irginia thirty- 
five hundred men. and Clinton embarked seventeen hundred 
more to strengthen that corps tor the benefit of Cornwallis. 
Comwaiiis \fter a fnrtni^dit's rest at Wilmington, the remnants of his 

marches to " -^ ^ i • 1 ■ 

Virginia shattered regiments again fell into ranks and began their 
march to the northward. Gloomy indeed must the outlook 
have been to the commander-in-chief of the British armies 
at the south when, battled, disappointed, defeated, and dis- 
tressed, in the closing days of April he bade farewell to 
Major Craig and Josiah Martin, the whilom governor of 
North Carolina, and with a heavy heart once more essayed 
the chances of doubtful war. 

His progress was unopposed. When information of this 
movement was <lespatched to Governor Xash at New Bern 
he directed Lillingtou to fall back to Kinston, where Major- 
General Caswell, the commander-in-chief, haci his head- 
quarters, and the governor sent Baron Glaubeck to the front 


to watch the eneniv. He ordered the mihtia of Halifax and 'J^ 

of the neighboring counties to assemble at Tarboro, and he l^^^^^^; 
himself hastened to tiiat point. ^ ^' '''S5) 

On reaching Kinston, presumably under the orders ot 
.Major-GeneratCasv/ell, LiUington disbanded his militia, ex- 
cept one company retained to guard the artillery and stores, 
and the men returned to their respective homes to protect 
their families from marauders. 

The inhabitants distressed 

The march of the British column was slow and delib- 
erate. The Whigs, unable to resist, scurried into the swamps 
or fled to a distance. The disaffected rose in numbers and 
gave every manifestation of loyalty. They now wreaked 
?enc-eance' on their neisrhbors for all they had suffered smce 
the beginning of the Revolution. The track of the army was 
a scene of desolation, and the Whig settlements were 
scourged as bv the plagues of Pharaoh. 

In "Ouplin 'the whole country was struck with terror, 
almost every man leaving his habitation and his family to the 
mercy of the merciless enemy. Horses, cattle and every kmd 
of stock were driven off from every plantation, corn and 
forage taken, houses plundered, chests and trunks broken 
and the clothing of women and children, as well as that of 
the men, was carried away. These outrages were com- 
mitted for the most part bv the camp followers, who. under _ 
the protection of tlie army, plundered the distressed mhab- 
itant<;. There were also many women who followed the 
army in the character of wives of the officers and soldiers, 
a certain number of women being allowed for each company. 
These were generally mounted on fine horses and were n-^-'s^ 
dressed in the best clothes that could be taken from the 
inhabitants as the armv marched through the country. 

On May 6th Comwallis reached Peacock's Bridge, on s. r., xv 
the Cotechnev. and there was the first clash of arms. Colonel '' 
Gorham with four hundred militia made a stand at the 
brido-e but Tarleton bv a bold dash drove him off, and there 
was ''no opposition. All the stores and the men 
drafted for the continentals and the militia were moved to 
the westward, and Governor Nash and General Sumner, m 

6r.8 A"./_y//'.^ .if\][lXfSTRATIOX. i^So-Sf 

'7;,' Warren, listened fur PiC\v> of the British progress. Glau- 

beck. traineu from earl}' youth a soldier, was seeking to 
procure arms for the men assigned to hi- command, and in 
the absence r)f sworils. improvised weapri's made oi hickorv 
clubs. With thiese he hung on the or;t;?kirts of the Briti^li 
lines and kept in check the barbarou:^ camp followers. In 
Xash a squad of Tories, who had risen on their neighbors, 
were rouglily handled and hotly pursued. 

s^R.xv, "Xot a man of anv rank or distinction, or scarceh' anv 
man of property," wrote Colonel Seawell. "has lain in his 
house since the British passed through Xash County. We 
are distressed with all the rogues and vagabonds that Corn- 
wallis can raise to pest us with. ... A certain Robert Beard 
with fifteen others on Friday last seized the person of John 
Ferrell, Isham Alford and Robert ]\Ielton. together with 
seven horses and I think three guns, . . . and carried them 
all off. Our men after collecting, pursued them ; but night 
coming on. and drawing near the enemy's lines, they re- 
turned without any luck." 

On ]May loth Cornwallis entered Halifax, ami after a 
short rest marched on to Petersburg, where he arrived on the 
20th, finding to his sorrow that a week earlier General Phil- 
lips had died from disease. His departure, however, was 
not followed by a calm. I'rom Heron's Bridge to Halifax 
the Tories had their day of rejoicing, and the Whigs fled 
to hiding places, their farms ravaged and the sanctity of 
their homes often violated. For days ami \veeks the Tory 
bands held high carnival, and no Whig dared sleep in his 
house for fear of capture. ]\Iany were seized and carried 
to Wilmington, where some were thrown into irons and sub- 
jected to cruel iuflignities. 

U'dltf I Terrible were the reports that were spread of the horrible 

5'4 misdeeds of the soldiers and camp followers. Plantations 

were despoiled, women outraged, even members of some of 
the best-known families of the State. The most painful 
apprehensions were excited because of their shameful con- 
duct. The culmination of these outrages occurred in the 
vicinity of Halifax, v/here. says Stedman, "some enormi- 
ties were conmiitted that were a disgrace to the name of 




man" ; and Tarieton states that there "a serj^eant and a 'j°_^ 

dragoon were executed" for their crimes as^ainst societv. f-,^f'> . 

At Edenton 

The Albemarle region was swept over by a storm of fears. 
The near approach oi the British from the Cliesapeake, 
the passage through neighboring counties of Cornwallis, 
rumors that a body of two thousand negroes had been sent 
to forage and collect supplies for the British army, the in- 
vasion of the sound by boats belonging to privateersmen 
too strong to be resisted, caused widespread alarm, and the 
inhabitants of Etlenton dispersed. Edenton itself was McRee's 
raided, vessels taken, some burned and others carried oft. ^^^^'^"'"- ^' 
But quickl}- the people recovered their resolution, and parties 
were formed to rid the sound of the raiders. The enemy 
was driven out, one of the British galleys taken and some of 
the vessels recaptured. ''The inhabitants in general and the 
sailors turned out unanimously. I never saw. nor couM even 
hope to see," wrote Charles Johnson in the m.idst of that 
turmoil and confusion, "so much public spirit, personal cour- 
age and intrepid resolution. I am convince 1 that was the 
measure adopted of fitting out one or two armed vessels 
we might laugh at all attempts of the enemy's plundering 
banditti," , ■.-.,.. 

The Whigs rally 

In other sections also the same spirit was displayed, and 
the Whigs rallied and beat down the Tories and re-estab- 
lished the authority of the State. 

James Armstrong, writing from ]Martinboro at the end 
of May, said : 'A\'e have been alarmed for ten days past by 
the Tories embodying about us. but they seem to drop off. 
Thirty horse from this county and a few from Craven . . . s r.. xv, 
went up to Edgecombe, took Benjamin A'ichous, one of their ■*''•' 
ringleaders, and twenty-one head of cattle, which they had 
collected for the British army ; since, they wrote to me for 
peace, and was granted it provided they gave up their arms." 

In Duplin, v/rote Mr. Dickson, '"the Tories rose and took 
several of our leading men and carried them to Wilm.ington. 
There were numbers of our good citizens, thus betravcd. 

670 XASH\S ADMiyiSTRATlOX. 1:80-81 

1781 ^vho perished on board prison ships. This so alarmed the in- 

MTy liabitants that none of us dared to sleep in our houses for fear 

of being surprised. [Matters being thus in confusion, there 
was no subordination among men, but all the proprietors 
raised and commanded their own little parties and defended 
themselves as they could. At length, however. Colonel 
Kenan embodied some four hundred of the militia, and quiet 
was restored." ]Many inhabitants because of these disturb- 
ances removed their families to the west, and even to Viv- 
ginia. abandoning their plantations entirely. In New Han- 
over it was still worse. That county measurabl}' de- 
populated and a scene of universal desolation. It was at 
this time that General Ashe was wounded and captured and 
imprisoned at Wilmington, where he contracted tb.e small- 
pox. This plague generally accompanied the British camp 
Death of and became a fearful scourge. When convalescent, broken 
^"^'^ in health, Ashe was paroled in October onlyjio die a few 

days later at Colonel Sampson's in Duplin Lounty. The 
first to take up arms in North Carolina, he passed away 
ignorant of Cornwalhs's surrender, and without a view of 
the promised land of independence. 

Greene in South Carolina 

After breaking camp on Deep River, Greene hurried across 
the barrens and soon reached the bountiful region of the 
Peedee. He lost no time in striking his blows. ^ On 

' April 20th he approaclied Camden, taking post at Hobkirk's 

Hill, where on the morning of the 25th Lord Rawdon 

Memoirs, attackcd him, both sniftering severely. The loss of each was 
somewhat more than two humlred and fifty, about one-fourth 
of their respective commands. In this battle, except those 
attached to Colonel Washington's cavalry, there were only 
about two hundred and fifty North Carolinians, being a 
militia battalion commanded by Colonel James Read; and 
these, having been placed in tb>e reserve, although they gal- 
lantlv and bravelv marched forward to relieve the retreating 
continentals, were not in the thickest of the engagement. 
Their conduct, however, won them, encomiums. 

On :May loth, by Greene's strategy, Rawdon was com- 
pelled to abandon Camden, so that only Ninety-six and 





Augusta were retained as British posts in tlie interior. "~ 

Oiiickl}' Greene tietermined to drive the enemy entirely 
from th.e country and to hedge them in at Charleston. With 
this view, he detached Colonel Lee's and Major Eaton's con- 
tinentals, who had just joined him. to attack Augusta, then Avisusta 
held by Colonel Browne and Colonel Grierson. in whose '^'"'" 
honor one of the forts was named. Fort Grierson was 
the one tirst attacked. In the assault the American loss Lee's 
was tri\ial, a few wounded and fewer killed. But unhappily ^^p'^'''^- 
among the latter was ]\Iajor Eaton, who had endeared him- 
self to both officers and soldiers, and who fell gallantly at 
the head of his battalion in the moment of victory.* The £^['„^''^ 
siege of Augusta was then continued until June 5th, when 
Colonel Browne capitulated. During its continuance the 
North Carolina continentals behaved with the utmost gal- 
lantry. Greene's prisoners now numbered, eight hundred, 
and he sent them to Salisbury, guarded by a detachn:ent 
under the command of ]^dajor Armstrong and other con- 
tinental officers. 

In Mav Greene had himself iindicrtaken the siege of J^''}e'y-5'-^ 

■^ besieged 

Ninety-six, a strong fort admirably defended. Lord Raw- 
don, having received considerable re-enforcements at Charles- 
ton, now pressed forward to relieve that garrison, and on the 
[ near approach of this superior force Greene resolved if 

I possible to carry the fort by assault. 

i On June i8th he led his army to the attack. A desperate Ju^eis 

I conflict ensued, l)Ut without avail, and the next morning 

i Greene withdrew beyond the Saluda, proposing if pressed 

I to seek safety in North Carolina. Rawdon, however, deter- 

mined to abandon Ninety-six and retire to Charleston, and 
Greene returned, taking post on the high hills of the Santee 
j awaiting re-enforcements from North Carolina, for North 

I Carolina was now his only dependence. 

I Cartel of exchange agreed on 

I On the Peedee on ]\Iay 3. 1781, Colonel Carrington, on 

I the part of General Greene, and Captain Cornwallis, on the 

(*Maior Eatim commanded ihe new continentals, compfised larf^ely 
of men from Butler's and Eali.ns biij,'a>ies who had behaved badly at 
I Guilford Court House. 



part of the Earl, liad a meeting' and agreed on an exchange 
of all prisoners. Pursuant to their action. t!ie commissaries 
of prisoners at once gave notice that all militia taken on 
either side were absolutely exchanged, and were liberated 
from their paroles. This set free such of t':;e Xorth Caro- 
lina militia as had been captured at Charleston, at Camden 
and elsewhere, and tended somewhat to strengthen the mihti.-i 
force of the State. Tiie continentals, officers and men. had 
to suffer longer delay, but it was agreed that the deliverv 
would begin toward the end of June, and these prisoners 
were to be conveyed to the James River and then be at 
liberty to return to military service. 

Painful indeed had been the period of their captivity and 
distressing the mortality among the men, which perhaps wns 
quite equal to that horrid record of the hulks off Long 
Island, which shocked humanity. Many of the exchanged 
officers late in the summer were able to take their places 
in the continental battalions and served with Greene until the 
end of the war. 

Atrocities lead to threats of retaliation 

The excesses and atrocities of the Tories were intolerable, 
and the animosity which was felt against them assumed th.'j 
character of ferocity. Many of them, when taken, were 
summarily executed as murderers and robbers. "I heard," 
wrote Mrs. Blair toward the end of May, "that some of the 

ircdeii. r, people about New Bern wdio had intended joining Lord Corn- 
wallis had been taken and nine executed. Tlie man who 
brought the account said he saw one of them hanged. Cap- 
tain Pasteur, one of the party who made the capture, while 
riding with a prisoner behind him, was fired at in passing: 
through a swamp and so badly wounded that he survive 1 
but three days." On June 20th Major Craig addressed 
Governor Xash on '"the inhuman treatment" of the king's 
friends, the deliberate and wanton murders committed on 

s R.. them, which called for vengeance. '"Had T listened only to 

XXII, 1024 1 ^ • -111 i- A r /" i<' ' 

the tirst emotions excited by tne account of Mr. Lasv,-eli s con- 
duct in murdering five men at Kinston. . . . jMr. Samuel Ashe 
and his comrades, who were put in irons for the purpose, 
would have become the immediate victims to his unwarrant- 



able crtielt}-." Major Craiij^ threatened that if the acts he ^ 

'; described were continued he would give the people who J""^ 

\ \ had taken arms in ilic king's favor an^ple revenge, and 

■'I shall not hesitate to deliver over to them those prisoners 
who from cliaracter or situation are most likely to g'ratify 
them in those sentiments."' This communication was re- 
ceived by Governor Burke, who had just been elected suc- 
cessor to Governor Xash. It appears that ]\Iajor Ashe, his 
younger brother and others taken by scouting brauls of 
Tories, had been thrown into irons, confined on shipboard 
and threatened to be delivered up to the Tories for dieir 
vengeance. Burke answered with resolution : '"Slionld you . . . 
continue }our treatment of tliose citizens or listen to any 
emotions Vvhich may dictate any measure against them on 
the ground of retaliation. ... I shall find mvsclf under the tJ^iv 

.... ' . . . XXII, 1023 

unhappy necessity oi taking similar measures against British 
prisoners, tliough all such measures are utterly repugnant 
to my disposition." '"There are at present,"' he added, 
"some prisoners in my power." 

Burke's tlireatened retaliation resulted in checking Craig 
in his measures of revenge. Many of these prisoners, not 
taken on the field of battle, were, however, conveyed to 
Charleston and paroled to James Island, where were congre- 
gated a large number of Tory refugees, men driven from 
their homes, animated by a relentless hostility toward the 
Whigs, some of desperate and despicable characters, who 
were a menace to the lives of these unfortunate captives. 

But Craig, foiled in his purpose as to ^Major Ashe, con- 
ceived the design of wreaking vengeance on the person of 
Burke himself should tlie occasion arise. Pie devised the 
capture of the governor, and planned to hold him for pur- 
poses of retaliation in case any of his Tory lieutenants 
should fall into the hands of the Whigs and be severely 
dealt with. 

Gregory defends the Albemarle region 

While attention was centred on the larger movements at 
the south and west, the Albemarle region was con-^tantlx' 

In the fall of 1780 there was sharp skirmishing, with some 


^^ loss of life, between Leslie's foraging parties and the militia 

n'^& ^v'" "^*^€^ General Gregory, who had taken post near the Great 
144 ' ' Bridge. And early in 1781, when Arnold's corps arrived, 
Gregory again was quicklv in service. It was ab'jut the end 
of February that a circumstance occurred from which it ap- 
peared that a British officer sought to place the American 
general in the light of a traitor, but the affair afterward was 
shown to be a joke and without foundation. Still, to have 
been suspected of being a traitor grated terribly on the feel- 
ings of that sterling patriot. Despite his mortification, he 
continued to hold his camp at the Northwest Landing, and 
although once compelled to withdraw, he soon occupied it 
again. One of the few who won honor at Camden, his good 
fame was never tarnished by an unworthy action. 
^■^-'^X'o "During tlie winter and spring," wrote Dr. Hudi Will- 

S07, sjS, 6i3 * 1 to' » 

iamson. "I had not so much as an assistant ... in General 
Gregory's camp." "Nothing but frenzy could have tempted 
the general to . . . remain a minute in his camp, after the 
enemy had arrived at ]\IcPher?on"s" ; but he added: "Gen- 
eral Gregory has again taken possession of his camp with all 
his cannon and stores." All the spring and summer the 
general remained on guard, but toward the end of August, 
the British having abandoned Portsmouth and proceeded to 
Yorktown, General Gregory deemed it unnecessary for the 
militia to continue in service longer than to reduce some of 
the disaffected to terms, and then he dismissed his men, 
who had so eft'ectivel>- protected the Albemarle region. 


Burke's AmnxisTRATiox, 1781-82 

Conditions in North Carolina.-Major Craig at Wilmington.-The 
\.^emb V n^^^^^ .overnor.-Act.on ol As.enibly.-Governor 

Burke s zeal-Fanning embodies the Tories.-Putsboro taken.-Con- 
duicm. in Bladen.-\Vade\-.nctory..-CorawalIuVs p 
cXred-New coniinental battalions.-Craig invades the eastern 

oEel-Lillington foro:dden to ^f'-^^--,^'^r::^:Z 
atrocities.-Battle of EHzabethtoun.-Governor ^^;>^. ^ .^^ f J-J;^^ 
nin^ defeats Wade.— The governor captured.— The ba tie f^J^^^^ 
Cr/ek -Butler surprised at Brown Marsh.-The cattle ot Eutaw 
Springs.— The gallantry of the xXorth Carolinians. 

Conditions in North Carolina 

General Stur.ner had been directed by General Greene to ^ 

remain in North CaroHna and organize the men drafted into 
the continental service, and he was during the sprmg active April, 
in the performance of this duty. Everv thirtieth man had 
been called out for this service, but they were to be selected 
in their respective neighborhoods and clothing provided for s. r..xv. 
them, and progress was slow. In April these drafts were *^s 
assembled at Harrisburg,* doubtless with the view of co- 
operating with Steuben in Virginia; but later General 
Greene ordered such as were then ready to join him in bouth 
Carolina, and ^slav 26th Alajor Armstrong sent forward one 
hundred and eightv from Salisbury. There was much delay 
incident to the fearful times. About the midiUe of June 
Captain Dohertv. writing from Duplin Court House, said 
that the "tumults in this part of the country have been the 
cause of the delav in collecting the men, but at present some 
little respite from the cursed Tories, but cannot say thev are 
entirely subdued. ^lore than half the draft made in Duphn 
have been among the Tories, or of men so disaffected that 
they will not appear. The men have been so harassed by 

*Xe3r Oxford. 

676 nURKirS JDMiyiSTR.lTlOX. irSi-82 

^ being kept in arms that hitlierto they could not attend to 

providing the clothing, and without clothing- they cannot 

Colonel Joseph Hawkins, a zealous officer, with his regi- 
ment of light horse was at the same time on the head of 
Black River among the Tories ; the people there, except 
one family, he reported "as being all disaffected." "The 

s^R., XV, Tories," he said, "continued to carry great quantities of 
beef from that part to the enemy at Wilmington." He 
himself sent a detachment in and brought off tifty-two 
beeves and six prisoners. 

Major Craig at Wilmington 

oMajor Craig was a very efficient officer. He sought by 
strenuous endeavors to restore royal authority. Proclaiming 
that the inhabitants, being British subjects, were Loyalist 
militiamen, early in July he directed that they should be 
enrolled as such, and he issued commissions to zealous 
s^R.. XV, Toj-ies as officers of their counties. He fixed August ist 
as the last day of grace for those who would not obey, and 
all not then returning to their allegiance were to be harried 
as rebels. While the Whigs had measurably neither arms 
nor ammunition, he bountifully supplied the Tory bands 
with both, and inspired them to zealous activity by giving 
them special marks of favor. 

The Scotch especially responded to his calls and up the 
• ! Northwest strong detachments of Loyalists held the coun- 

Ruther- trv. To the northward he threw out the British dragoons, 
lord's Mills ^^^j ^^ established a post at Rutherford's ^lills, some seven 
miles east of Burgaw, and there he constructed a bastion 
fort, whose outline still remains in perfect preservation, a 
memorial of those historic times. Lillington, w^ho had after 
the passage of Cornwallis returned to the vicinity of Heron 
Bridge, now stationed himself at Richlands, in Onslow 
496 '^^' County; and on June 28th. when a British column advance-! 
in that direction, called on the Duplin horse and foot 
to assemble at the rendezvous with despatch. However, 
before opposition could be made. Craig's troopers penetrated 
into Onslow, and secured in that fertile section needed sup- 
plies ; but when the people collected, finding that warm work 

Crni^ ir 


was to be expected, they hastil}- rctumetl to their stron^^- 'J^^. 


I'he moveraents of CornNvalHs, the perils threatened by 
Craii^. the defection of the Loyalists, and the drafting of 
!,;cn"in every part of tlie State caused a deep gloom to en- 
>hroud the people, and public alTairs were thrown into 
ureat confusion. ' s. r.,xvii. 

In the midst of all this turmoil and distress the General 377 '" 
Assembly met on June 23d at Wake Court House. The ses- biy meeu at 
sion was held m tb.e old Lane residence, still standing in hous\ 
the suburbs of Raleigh. So threatening were the bands of 
Tories that a regiment of militia was stationed in the 
vicinitv to protect the body during its sitting. Alexander 
Martin was chosen speaker of the senate, and Benbiiry 
again presided over the house. Governor Nash declined a 
re-election because of ill health, but perhaps there were other 
reasons as well. The creation of the Board of \\'ar and 
later of the Council Extraordinary had divided power and 
responsibility and had resulted unfortunately, so that the \l^fj^fX 
government had lost much of its eiliciency. The council had ^^7^^ ^^^ 
ordered that one-fifth of the provisions upon every farm 475 
should be taken for the public use, and heavy taxes in kind 
had been imposed. Impressments having been resorted to, 
^lajor rvlurfree toward the £nd of ^lay impressed, at Pitch 
LancHng, two thousand gallons of rum. nine hundred weight 
of sugar, a thousand of coffee, six or seven hundred yards 
of canvas, a small quantity of ammunition and other com- 
modities, which the merchants had im.ported. ]\Iuch dis- 
satisfaction resulted from these m.easures. tending to ren- 
der the administration unpopular, while the currency, both 
continental and state, had become almost worthless, and the 
feebleness of the military arm in checking the Tories and 
the scarcity of ammunition, guns and clothing for the 
soldiers were causes of adverse comment and grave appre- 
hensions. To succeed Governor Xash, the Assembly chose 
Dr. Burke, who qualified on June 26th. f^^'^f^ 

On accepting the oiiSce of governor, Burke communicated |^p3S,jo4i 
to the Assembly with emphasis that he did not wish a con- gr.vcmur 
tinuance of the Council Extraordinary, but that he himself 
would discharge the functions of commander-in-chief. The 

6-R BURKLIS .'iDMiyiSTRATlOX. 17'^T-Sj 

^^_^ council therefore ceased, but General Richard Caswell re- 

junt mained nominally as major-general in com.mand of the 

state forces. The Assembly acted with promptness and 
Measures of yirror. The Marquis of Bretigny. having- ottered his ser- 
vices to the State, was appointed a special agent to procure 
a fast sailing vessel, and go to the French islands in the 
West Indies and obtain five thousand stands of arms, ten 
thousand pounds of powder and other military supplies, 
j twenty thousand pounds of tobacco being placed at his dis- 

I posal for the purpose. A regiment of state troops was di- 

rected to be raised, and Benjamin Williams chosen the 
commander, Joel Lewis first major, and Baron de Glaubeck, 
who had been so active and efficient, was appointed major 
■ of horse. In view of the condition of affairs in Chatham, 
Cumberland, and Randolph, it was resolved that a company 
• of light horse should be raised for two months in each of 

those counties. An exception was made in the operation of 
the confiscation act of all persons, theretofore disaffected, 
who should serve with General Summer in the continental 
battalions for the term of ten months, 
s- ^-^-^j^j- The militia that had acted badly at Guilford Court House 
93°-V75 ' having been drafted into the continentals, the Assembly now- 
requested the governor to recommend to General Greene to 
discharge them "whenever the situation of affairs would 
admit of such an act of benevolence." Samuel Johnston, 
Charles Johnson. William Sharpe, and Ephraim Brevard 
were on July 12th elected delegates to the Continental Con- 
T^^ . . , gress. The value of the currency had now fallen so low- 
that the Assembly rated a day's work at $250, allowed Joel 
Lane £15,000 for the use of his house and pasturage for one 
month, and paid $12,000 for a single horse. On July 14th, 
the body adjourned to meet again in November at Salem. 
more removed from the seat of war. 

Governor Burke's zeal 

Undismaved by the adverse circumstances of that imhappy 
period, when Burke assumed the reins he was all activity. 
Three days after his election he directed General Butler to 
post five hundred men between the Cape Fear and the 
Neuse, covering the lowest fords on each, and to patrol with 


CiriL WAR 679 

cavalry toward the enemy's lines, requiring daily reports of 'J.I' 

the situation. He lost no time in urcring the Assemblv to s. r..xvii, 
action. '"I perceive,'' said he, "the country everywhere un- June 
prepared for defence ; without arms, without discipline, with- 
out arrangements, even the habits of civil order and obedi- 
ence to laws changed mto a licentious contempt of autiiority 
and a disorderly indulgence of violent propensities. Indus- 
try is intermitted, agriculture much decayed, and com- 
merce struggling feebly with almost insuperable difficulties. 
The public money is unaccounted for, the taxes uncollected 
or unproductive," the individual creditors of the public un- 
paid for years, "and the treasury totally unable to make 
payment.'' Dark indeed was his portrayal of the situation. The 
And to that w^ere to be added the perils and dangers of that condutons 
gloomy period when the British were threatening the State 
from the north, the sounds and coast infested with pri- 
vateersmen bent on spoils, and from Guilford to Brunswick 
civil war raged, its horrors heightened by passion, butcheries 
on either side being of daily occurrence. 

Even before the adjournment of tlie Assemblv Governor ^•"r)<e's 

. . - . activity 

Burke began to move from point to pomt m the State, m- 
spiring confidence by his presence and assuming direction. 
He had full power to act. and his known energy and reso- 
lute wdl brought new hope to the Whigs in the terrorized 
sections. While urging the Assembly on he busied himself 
supervising operations ; and he began to plan a movement 
not merel>' to suppress the Tories, but to drive Craig out of 
his stronghold on the Cape Fear. Indeed, he was aroused 
to the utmost exertions by the earnest appeals that con- 
stantly came for immediate assistance. 

General Lillington. writing from the Trent on Tulv 6th. ^J^-.- 

. . . XXII, 540 

complained most bitterly that no aid had been furnished his 
district bv the other counties. He represented that the TheCare 

iiri • r' 1 • rear region 

Whigs of that region, distressed as they were, felt that they 
were to fall a sacrifice to the enemy ; expelled from their 
homes, their plantations ravaged, their negroes carried off, 
and those caught compelled to accept allegiance or to go 
into captivity. His own immediate section was desolate and 
deserted, and doubtless the iron had entered into the soul 


xxri* .„ o^' his friends and kindred 

of the old veteran, whose heart bled for the misfortunes 

From Eiaiien, Cumberland, and the upper Cape Fear. 
also, came cries for help that appealed most strongly to the 
governor for prompt and effective action. 

Fanning embodies the Tories 

Althou,5h Cornwallis suffered continuous disappointment 
vyhile at the south from the passiveness of the North Caro- 
lina Loyalists, yet after his departure from the State they 
became very active. While many of their j^artisan leader^ 
Nrrrat'iv'in ^-^aiued great prominence, chief among- thorn was David 
xxn; ,io f^''^"ning. a native of Johnston County, but from bovhood a 
*t"<i. T-esident of South Carolina. In the fall of 17S0 he came to 

Deep River and made himself acquainted with many per- 
sons who had received commissions from Colonel Hamilton 
the preceding July. He watched anrl waited. Fie was con- 
cerned with Dr. Pyle in the raising of that band of Tories 
tha^L Lee cut to pieces in February, 1781, but was not him- 
self present at the massacre. Immediately afterward he be- 
gan to collect another body, and he gave information to 
Cornwallis. and was with him on his march to Ramsev's 
Mills, accompanying him to Cross Creek. At that time 
Cornwallis's plans were not matured, and he expected that 
i he might return to Hillsboro. Fanning established himself 

-* with some seventy Loyalists at Coxe's Mill* and interfered 

'■ with Greene's communications in North Carolina. Shortly 
afterward he attacked a detachment under Colonel Dudlev, 
of Virginia, coming from Greene's camp with baggage, 
drove off the guard, capturing the baggage and nine horses. 
Colonels Collier and Balfour, of Randolph, embodied one 
himdred and sixty men, and on June 8th reached his vicinity, 
but he made a night attack on them, and then sought safety 
in concealment. A few days later Fanning contrived a gen- 
1781 era! meeting of the Loyalists, who selected him as their 

commander. Accordingly he repaired to Wilmington and 
obtained on July 5th from Major Craig a commission as 

*Coxe's Mill is on the western side of Deep River, at the mouth 
of Mil! Cree.<. in Randolph County, about five miles from the 
Lha'.ham line. 



XXII, 550 

colonel of tb.e Loyalist militia of Randolph and Chatham ^^^ 

counties. A week later he had a g^eneral muster at Coxe's J"'y 
^lill and organized a force of a hundred and fifty men. 
There had been appointed by Colonel Hamilton captains and 
otlier otlicers for seven companies m Randolph County, for 
six in Chatham, two in Orano;e, four in Cumberland, and 
tiiree in Anson. These all were more or less in touch with 
Colonel Fanning, affording' means of embodying men and put-ioro 
directing their movements that rendered his operations very j'liiris, -.p. 
efifective. On the same day that: he held his muster on Deep Mag.", a"'' 
River there was a court martial and Whig muster at Pitts- 
boro, some twenty-five miles distant. Fanning determined 
to strike them a blow. By seven o'clock the next mormng 
he reached the hamlet and surrounded it. The members of 
the court had dispersed for the night to country homes. As 
they approached tlie village in the early morning Fanning 
successively took them prisoners, among them being all the 
militia officers of the county except two. a captain of the 
continentals and three members of the General Assembly, his s. r., 
captives numbering fifiy-three. He paroled niost of them, 
but conducted fourteen of the most prominent and influential 
A\'higs to Major Craig, at Wilmington. Among those taken 
were Herndon Ramsey and James Williams. Excesses com- 
mitted by 3*rajor O'Xeal, Colonel Robeson, of Bladen; 
Wade, of Anson; Phil Alston, and other vigorous patriot 
leaders, which the Tories complained of as being "barbarous 
murders," led Fanning and his associates to practise retalia- 
tion, and these Chatham prisoners, when they reached Raft 
Swamp, were threatened with execution. They apprehended 
they were to fall victims to partisan rancor. Accordingly, 
their "situation being very unhappy," from that point they 
addressed a letter to Governor Burke detailing the com- 
plaints made by the Tories and asking that Tory prisoners 
"may be well treated in future." In view of this interces- 
sion, their lives were spared, and after a month's detention 
at A\'ilmington some of them were paroled, while others ^, _ ., . 
were conveyed to Charleston. Mag-, h, 

On his return to Deep River Fanning received informa- ds-.-i) 

. - s 'r 

tion that Colonel Alston with a party of twenty-five was xxii'. 

watching for him. He surprised Alston at his house, and *''^' -^^ 


»78t in an action lasting several hours killed four and wounded 

July all the rest except three, when they surrendered. His own 

loss was but two men killed and four wounded. Again 

did Colonel Balfour make an effort to capture himi, but 

without success. 

While Fanning was operating in the Deep River country 
two active Tories in Bladen, 3*IcXeil and Ray, collected the 
Loyalists lower down, and proved much too strong for the 
local ^^'hig leaders. 
xxii'. On ]i\\\ loth Colonel Robeson wrote to Governor Burke 

la^BUd'-n'*^ of the situatiou in Bladen : Distressed by a large body of 
Tories and robbers, who range through the county from 
Wilmington up to Drowning Creek and the waters of the 
Little Peedee as far as Richmond — a hundred miiles in 
length and fifty across — a country much encumbered with 
:■ very large swamps and thick places, difficult for a small 
party of troops to be of much service ; and the friends to 
their country that live in this part so distressed by their 
property being taken from them daily, and they in constant 
' danger of their lives by a set of Tories and robbers protected 
by the British, that if we can't have assistance, we must 
unavoidably fall a prey to those villains — must in a very 
- short time be obliged to leave our homes; and at this time 
t' obliged to leave our habitations every night to take our rest. 
The inhabitants of the county consisted of fifteen com- 
panies, and now there can't be raised more than seventy or 
eighty men that dare move in behalf of their country. 
Five days later he again wrote to the governor that there 
were but fifty men to oppose some four hundred under 
I\IcXeil and Ray, and IMcLaurin Colvill* appointed colonels 
of Bladen County ; that Colvill had said he would have three 
*' hundred more men from the lower part of the county and 
one hundred from Brunswick: that August ist was the 
time limited for the people to come in by the proclamation 
of General Clinton and Arburthnot, which had been indus- 
triously spread among the people, and if they did not go 
in they were to be destroyed. ]\[cXeil was encamped at 
IMcFalls Mill, between Drowning Creek and Raft Swamp, 
and Colvill was ordering a general muster at Elizabethtown. 

*Called by Dickson Maturin and generally so written. 

CiriL irjR ox THE CAPE FEAR 683 

Colonel Brown was the commanding officer of Bladen 'J^ 

County, but it was impossible to get men to join him. with- J"'y 
out assistance. Colvill. however, did not live long to enjoy 
his new honors. Colonel Emmett wrote to the governor on 
the 19th : "A small party of our people in Bladen, . . . with- 
out orders, went to the house of Mr. Colvill, who had ac- 
cepted from the Engli-h a colonel's commission, killed him, 
and plundered the house of what property was to be found 
in it." 

On July 30th Colonel Brovv-n and Colonel Robeson joined 
in a pathetic letter to Governor Burke, which was borne 
b) Colonel Owen himself, urging help. For six months they 
said they had been seeking to defend themselves and prop- s. r., 
erty, but the Tories were largely increasing, and robbers ' ' '°"*^ 
were "daily plundering and destroying our stock of cattle 
and our houses of everything, . . . and now at this time old 
Hector McNeil is encamped with a large body of men 
within eight or ten miles of our court-house, and is increas- 
ing in. number very fast, and Colonel Duncan Ray is en- 
camjied in another part of our count}- with a large body of 
men and is giving out notice to the inhabitants that all that 
do not come in by August ist will have all their properties 
destroyed and laid waste; and we, being but few in number 
that stand in behalf of our country, are not sufficient or able 
to stand in our own defence without immediate assistance. 
. . . Our number is not one hundred ... to oppose be- 
tween four and five hundred. . . . We shall be all broke • • 
up and obliged to give way and leave the place, which will 
be greatly to the advantage of our enemy and will still in- 
crease their number." 

Wade's victory 

As Colonel Owen passed through Campbellton, Colonel 
Emmett, commanding in Cumberland, sent by him a similar 
letter advising the governor that there were four or five 
hundred Tories embodied at ^IcFall's Mill, on Drowning 
Creek, thirt_\-five miles from Campbellton. and that unless 
Campbellton itself were occui)ied by the State, the Tories 
would take it. In the meantime, however. Cobnel Wade, 
of Anson, was not inactive. Ascertaining that these Loval- 

R., XV, 



^2^J_ ists were engaged in (lisarming the settlers within twcntv 

Atuu>t 4th miles of the Peedee and carrying off men fit for duty and 

driving oti' all stock over Drowning Creek into what they 

called ""protected land." where McXeil and Ray had their 

"flying army," Colonel Wade called out half his regiment, 

and was joined by parties from ^lontgomery and Richmond, 

Re^'lrrt ^"*^^ proceeded into that territory. On Saturday, August 4th, 

Graham's \^q Came up with them at Beattie's Bridsfe, on Drowning 

Graham, ' . , ^ . ., 

376 Creek, and alter a sharp engagement, lastmg until twelve 

o'clock at night, the Tories drew off. A dozen of tlicni 
were killed and some fifteen wounded, while Wade suffered 
no other loss than fnur men wounded. 

Cornwallis's plans 

In the middle of July news came from \"irginia that was 
at once disquieting and hopeful. Lafayette wrote that a part 

S-R-. XV, of the British troops were designed to embark for New 
York; the rest "will garrison Portsmouth; but from their 
num.ber of cavalry I imagine tliey wdll push to the south- 
land." Other developments led to the belief that Tarleton 
with a large force of cavalry would pass through the in- 
terior of the State to the aid of Rawdon. And preparations 
were made to harass if not destroy him should the movement 
be undertaken. 

Governor Burke at once directed the commaniling officers 
of Granville, Orange and Casv/ell to collect all their ritlc- 
men and m.arch to Boyd's Ferry, on the Dan, and Kemp's 

"6. 557 Ferry, on Roanoke, to drive back Tarleton's cavalry. But 
Cornwallis changed his plan, were it ever contemplated to 
send that corps to the southward. 

South Quay .\ partv of the enemv pushed from Suffolk to South Ouav 

captured ' - - ' — 

on July i6th and destroyed all the stores and warehouse- 
s. R.. XV. at that place. The nex-t dav thev came within twelve miles 
of Murfree's Landing, burning dwellings and storehouses ; 
and also at Weyanoke they destroyed large quantities of 
rum. sugar, coffee, and other articles stored by the mer- 
chants. They threatened Pitch Landing, but ^Major ^lurfree 
having raised some seventy men and taken post at Skinner s 
Bridge, on Meherrin River, they retired to Suffolk. 
j35^'^^" At the south. Craig, too. was displaying energy. He 

S. R., XV 

S4Q. 350. 551 


re-built the Heron llriclge, and announced his intention of ]jf^ 

giving no more paroles, but would seize and sell the prop- August 
ert}- of every man who did not join him. j\Iany of the 
Whigs were overawed. I-Vom Cumberland came the report : 
'■\Ve had a muster on IMonday last, where the third and 
fourth numbers were ordered to meet in order to march 
after the Tories; but there were neither otficers nor men 
met — only eight or ten : the colonel never came at all." 
And Lillington reported to the go\-ernor that he had not 
three rounds of ammunition, and knew not where to apply, j^*^''^^' 

New continental battalions 

In South Carolina General Greene, always prudent, was 
chafing at his enforced inactivity because his force v/as in- 
adequate to renew hostilities. He was anxiously awaiting 
the arrival of more men before risking another battle. 
Urged by his repeated calls. 2^Iajor Armstrong hurried for- s r.,xv, 
ward two hundred of the continental drafts ; while on ^^''' ^" 
July 14th General Sumner wrote to Greene from Salisbury : 
"I arrived here Wednesday last with about five hundred 
rank and file badly equipped ; however, I have ... re- 
ceived near three hundred good arms, . . . which I have 
put in the hands of some good men, who will march to join 
you under the cominand of Lieutenant-Colonel Ashe early 
to-morrow morning." To Colonel Ashe he gave orders fhat 
on his arrival at General Greene's camp he was to take 
charge of all the continental troops of this State and incor- 
porate them as the First Regiment. 

Ten days later Sumner himself marched, leaving Arm- 
strong. Hogg, and Blount to organize and bring forward the 
drafts from the districts of Xew Bern. Halifax. Edenton, 
and Wilmington, all of whom were still delayed. When as- 
sembled, these were formed into the Second Battalion. 

At that time General Greene had in contemplation the re- Greene 
lief of North Carolina bv carrving the garrison of Wilmine- p^^po^" ^° 

^.^00 o take 

ton, and then to hasten on to \'irginia. and to once more try wiimingua 
conclusions with Cornwallis. With this view, on August 2d 
he gave orders for Lee's Legion, Kirkwood's Delawares, 
and Handy's }ilaryland continentals, to prepare for an ex- Lee-s 
pedition against Wilmington. Secrecy and despatch were 



]J^2. necessary elements of success. Captain Rudolph, with a 

August small party of the leg-ion, was hurried to the Cape Fear to 
acquire information and to collect boats to cross that river. 
His mission was entirely successful ; but at the moment when 
Greene was about to strike the blow he received information 
from General Washington that required a change of plans. 
Ordering Lafayette to continue hi? cautious conduct, he 
again addressed himself to driving the British into Charles- 
ton. Washington planned to capture Cornwallis himself. 

Craig invades the eastern counties 

All inhabitants had been required by ^^lajor Craig to come 

into the British camp and give in their adhesion by August 

1st, and those failing to do so were to be regarded as enemies 

subject to the death penalty and to having their homes plun- 

s. R.. XV, dered. The alternative was fearful to those within his 

509, 5^3 

power. The dog-days of August indeed ushered in a period 
of horror and relentless warfare. The British commander 
issued his proclamation that the Loyalists should be ready 
to march with him, and on 1st he began a torn 
Batt-eof through the eastern counties. Colonel Kenan with a hun- 

Kock Creek ,,_. ., _^ 

dred and fifty ot the Duphn militia had t'lken post at Rock 
Creek (some two miles east of Wallace), and now- was 
joined by a detachment of a hundred and eightv from the 
brigade of General Caswell, and two hundred under Colonel 
Dickson's Brown of Bladen. On the approach of Major Craig with 

Letters, 17 ,,,,-• , " . 

two hundred and fitty regulars and about eightv Tones. 

ug. 2. 1, . i^gj^^^ proposed to contest his passage. His ammunition, 

however, was soon exhausted : and on being charged the 

militia broke and tied, closely pursued by the British light 

. .; ■ horse, who succeeded in taking some twenty or thirty 

• ■'' prisoners, 
xxi'i 68 ^^^ ^^" *^^-^ "" ^^^^ British column lingered in Duplin, living 

on the country, embodying the Tories, exacting allegiance 
of the people and carrying out the programme announced 
in Craig's proclamation. The moderate and conservative 
policy of Cornwallis at his entrance into the State was no 
longer enforced : on the contrary, fire and sword now took 
the place of conciliation and regard for the inhabitants as 

••■ ■ subjects of Great Britain. Those who did not attach them- 

CiriL JVAR /A' THE EAST 687 


seizes to the British camp were hehl outside of the pale of 
protection and given over to the venjj^eance of the Tories. 

Having thoroughly harried Du]jlin, the culunin, now in- 
creased bv the accession of three hundred Loyalists, turned 
its head toward Xew Bern, and General Lillington, who 
was encamped at Limestone Bridge, in Du])lin, moved his 
force on the road to the Trent to intercept its progress. ^ 

Lillington forbidden to hazard a battle 

General William Caswell with a party of one hundred and ^^i\\ 
sixty horse operated on the enemy's lines, and before Craig 564.565 
had reached Kinston had a skirmish with about fifty of the 
dragoons. He found, however, that his mounted militia 
could not stand a charge : the gleaming swords of the enemy 
terrified them. Craig hastened on to surprise Lillington, 
who would have given him battle if permitted. But under 
orders, he avoided a meeting. Yet again were the British 
horse attacked, and with some loss. Caswell reported to the 
governor on the 17th; "General Lillington is between Xew 
Bern and the enemy, and I am fearful will risk an action. 
... I have done everything in my povv'er to prevent it, and 
have let him have a sisfht of }'Our Excellency's letter, wherein 
you mention that no general action must take place." Gen- 
eral Lillington's force was about six hundred, drawn from 
Onslow. Jones, Craven, Dobbs, and Pitt, while Caswell com- 
manded one hundred and fifty horse. The crying need was 
for ammunUion, and arms were very scarce. It is probable 
that the want of ammunition determined Governor Burke 
to order that no general engagement should be risked. Lil- 
lington had taken position at \VeI:)ber's Bridge, on the 
Trent, had removed the planks and had placed a strong 
guard to hold it. At that point tliere was a slight collision 
with a reconnoitring party, three of the enemy being killed 
and five wounded. On the evening of the 19th Craig New Rem 
reached Xew Bern. In his progress he had rava^-ed everv Aug., 17S1 
Whig plantation and brought ruin and distress on the in- xxii', 
habitants of the country. On leaving Wilmington he had 5^^-560, 5'3, 
with him only about eighty Tories, but as their route lay 
through a country much disaffected, many inhabitants 

688 BUR Kirs .IDMIXISTRATIOX. i~Si-82 

Ul^ joined them. Those above fifty years of age were re(|iiire(l 

August ^^ f^i,.^ ^j^ ^^jj^ ^^£ allegiance, while the younger men were 

prevailed on to enroll in tlieir ranks, and th.eir numbers were 
augmenteti by hundreds. General Caswell was apprehensive 
that almost all of the inhabitants in the vicinity of Xew Bern 
and most of those in Beaufort and Hyde counties would 
enlist with Craig. '"What force we can raise and arm." 
he said, "will not be superior to tl»e Tories.'" and arms could 
not be had for the men they could raise. He proposed to 
establish a post at Webber's Bridige and at Bryan's Mills, on 
the Xeuse. General Lillingtcn. now quite old and much 
fatigued, was to leave the camp the next day. 

Lillington was resolute, and doubtless eager for a battle. 
but it appears that he was restrained by the prudent orders 
of the governor from making a stam,! against the Briti-h 
force. His phntation and those of his friend.s at Rocky 
Point had been desolated, their negroes carried ott. and 
themselves reduced to poverty. Some of his friends had 
been captured and subjected to inhuman ill-usage, and he 
doubtless chafed that he was not permitted to strike a blow 
at the enemy, even though he might not hope for absolute 
Death of On entering Xew Bern, the British with a cordial re- 

Gaston _ ._ '^ 

ception from some, but the patriotic citizens sought to es- 
cape. As Dr. Alexander Gaston with his wife and two small 
children were aliout to depart in a boat one of the Torie- 
ruthlessly shot Dr. Gaston down, and the son. afterward 
the eminent jurist, was literally baptized into patriotism in 
of'x:c.!""ii. ^^'^'^ blood of his murdered father. After despoiling tlie 
99; vii. I.I (-Q^vji^ robbing the citizens, burning vessels and committing 
s^^R., XV, other excesses. Craig with his^ Tor>- followers departed 
toward Kinston. 

Tory atrocities 

s. R., ' V, He rapidly advanced to Bryan Mills, on the X'euse, where 
Colonel Gorham commanded a detachment. There a skir- 
mish ensueil. but Gorham was ea^ilv driven off. 

The British remained at that ptiint one night, burning the 



liouses of General Bryan, William Heritage. W'illiani Coxe, ^^j 

and Longheld C(ixe. and much distressed and al)used their s. r.,_xv, 
families. Their intention was to proceed further into the 593' ' ' 
interior, but General Wayne with a body of continental 
troops, who was operating against the Dritish near Suffolk, 
n(Vvv drew near to X'ortli Carolina, and a report si)read that 
he was at Halifax. Craig, receiving this information, turned -^"si'st 
to the southward, crossed the Trent an<l proved to Rich- 
lands, thence returning to his fortifications at Wilmington. 
His loss on this raid was about fifteen killed and captured 
and about the same number wounded. The great scarcity 
of ammunition prevented much skirmisliing on the part of 
the Americans. The destruction of the residences at Bryan ^/tum^to 
Mills led to severe retaliation ; the inhabitants who had suf- \\"'i'"'">stoii 
fered raise^l a party and burned up all the houses of the 
Tories in that vicinity. General Caswell ordered such 
troops as could be raised in Duplin, Wayne and Onslow to 
fall in the rear of the retreating enemy, and to annoy them 
on their return to Wilmington. But without serious opposi- 
tion Craig regained his fortificatioub. In this foray he 
carried into effect the terms of his proclamation. The Tories Retaliation 
especially were jubilant. The_\' Imrned houses, seized many 
negroes and destrtiyed man\- farms. In retaliation, the 
Whigs devastated tht plantations of their Tory neighbors, 
and a reign of terror and relentless warfare was inaugurated. 
William Dickson, of Duplin, writing three years later, says: 
"The enemy stayed several days in Dui:»lin — the first week 
in August. 1 78 1. The Royalists gathered together very fast, 
and we were now reduced again to the utmost extremity. . . . 
Some men collected and formed a little flying camp, and 
moved near the enemy's lines, and made frequent sallies on 
their rear flanks. . . . The Tories in Duplin and other coun- "^""^^ . 

' __ m.issacrea 

ties . . . become more insolent than ever ; but Craig having 
returned to Wilmington, the Whigs again resumed their 
courage, and determined to be revenged on the Lo\alists, 
our neighbors, or hazard all. Accordingly; we collected 
about eighty light horse and . . . marching straight into the 
neighborhood where the Tories were embodied, surprised 
them; they tied, t)nr men pursued them, cut many of them 
to pieces, took several and put them to in.stant death." 




1781 Battle of Elizabethtown 

?^- While Mai or Crai.Q- was harrying the Whigs of the eastern 

S^ioj, 567 counties. Fanning and the other Tory leaders were devastat- 
ing the settlements on the Northwest Branch of the Cape 
Fear. On August nth Fanning, Slingsby, McXell. and 
Ray all met, with their respective forces, at Cross Creek, 
and together they scourged the country on either side of 
the river, taking prisoners, ravaging plantations and desolat- 
ing the Whig settlements. Colonel Slingsby on the assassi- 
nadon of ColviU had been appointed to command the Bladen 
Lovalists, an.l when Fanning, toward the last of August, re- 
turned from Wilmington, he found Slingsby with his com- 
mand at Elizabethtown in possession of many Whig pris- 

Colonels Brown, Owen. Robeson, Morehead, Irwme and 
Dickson's others who had been forced to abandon their homes by these 
Leaers. .^ ^^^^^. i^^j^j^^ j^^^^ ^^g^ auxiouslv Seeking aid and re-enforce- 
ments to return and drive them from Bladen. But the 
people of Duplin and the neighboring counties were them- 
selves harassed by troopers from Wilmington and the 
Tories of their own section, so that assistance could not be 
obtained. At length, however, they collected some one hun- 
dred and fifty Bladen men, who like themselves had been 
s. R., expelled from their homes, and on the night of August 29th 

xxii'.205 ^i^gy forded the river in the vicinity of Elizabethtown, and 
just before daybreak made an attack on Slingsby "s post. 
Although the garrison, consisting of four hundred, largely 
outnumbered the small party of assailants, this night attack 
resulted most fortunately. In the camp were many Whig 
prisoners, and this circumstance probably contributed to in- 
duce the early flight of the garrison. The Whigs, by a sud- 
den and violent onslaught, just before daybreak, threw the 
surprised Tories into disorder; and as their principal officers 
sought to marshal them, they soon fell before the unerr- 
HurN.'c, ing lire of the resolute assailants. Dejirived of their leaders, 
"•"' the Tories, in consternation, precipitately tied, many of them 

leaping pell-mell into a deep ravine, which has since been 
. . known as '"Tories' Hole." "In this action." wrote Archi- 
M'g-'. iv,' bald ]^Jaclaine from Sampson Hall some three weeks later, 
328(1855) .,^^^ ^^^j ^^^j^. ^^^ ^^^^ wounded; killed, wounded and taken 


of the eneniv. nineteen. Sliii^sby since dead of his wounds." 'Jl; 

Colonel Goilden fell dead in his tracks, as did most of the August 
other officers of the ^-arrison. Knowing that their small 
numbers could not successfully resist the Tories in an open, 
pitched battle, the Whigs collected the arms and stores in 
the camp and retired to the other side of the river, carrying 
their bootv with them. 

This battle of PUizabethtown,* as it was one of the most 
daring in conception, was one of the most brilliant in the par- 
tisan warfare of that region, so remarkable for its many bold 
encounters. In its results it was equally important as it 
was successful. Not only were the Loyalists of Bladen dis- 
heartened and suppressed', but the supply of arms and ammu- 
nition obtained by the Whigs equipped them for larger 
operations, and the Tories of that part of Bladen made 
head no more. 

Governor Burke's plans 

During all that heated season the etforts of the governor s_^r.. 
were untiring. In August he was mollifying the outraged t^g, ^]yii 
merchants of Edenton. whose commerce had been arrested 
by the impressment of their cargoes, and then at Halifax he 
\vas preparing to delay the progress of Cornwallis shotild 
he again turn southward, escaping from Virginia to reunite 
with Rawdon in South Carolina. Certain information had 
come that in consequence of the arrival of the French lleet, 
Cornwallis was moving from York to Jamestown, intending 
to cross the James River, and hoping to pass unopposed 
through Xorth Carolina. Perhaps it was to facilitate that 
possible movement that Craig had made his inroad into the 
eastern counties somewhat earlier. Now Burke was busy s.^R., xv, 
securing the boats on the lower Roanoke and embodying the 
militia to obstruct the expected march of the enemy until 

*Therc has been ?ome confusion as to the date of this battle. It 
was evidently after Major Cra.g had passed through Duphn : and 
Fannin? savs' in his Narrative that it was two days bctore the deteat 
of Colonel' Wade, which was on Soplemher ist. Dickson says 
Colonel Brown was in command of the attacking party ( Uick^_on s 
Letters, pp. 17 and iQ. Machine's Letter. L niv. Mag i855- };an- 
ning's \arrative). Fanning, ignorant oi the assault by the \Vliigs 
under Brown and Robeson, ascribed the affair to the uprismg ot the 
Whig prisoners SHngsby had in his camp. 


^ll Lafayette aiul Steuben and Wayne might bring him to battle. 

September Q^ Augu?t 24th he Ordered out the mihtia of all the coun- 
ties ; those in the east to oppose Cornwallis : those of the 
centre and west t(j supi>ress the Tories on the Cape Fear. 
The detachments from Granville and Wake were to assemble 

,, „ , at Wake Court House ; from Caswell, Randolph. Chatham. 

.M. Ree s _ ' 

Lejcii, I, and Orange, at Ramsev s }\Iills. It is said he was i)roiectin'^ 

a great movement and intended to lead the militia himself. 
. The danger of Lord Cornwallis's situation l^eing eviden:. 

it was not doubted that he would endeavor to make good his 
retreat through the State. Governor Burke resolved to put 
the wliole force of Xorth Carolina in motion to act as the 
' occasion might require, either to oppose Cornwallis or to 

■ - attack Craig or to re-enforce General Greene so as to give 

■> s R , XV. him a decisive superiority. Realizing that everything de- 

pended upon prompt execution, he gave his personal exer- 
tions, influence and authority to accomplish his design, and 
early in September moved toward Salisbury, wdiere he 
proposed to coniplete the dispositions he had directed at the 

• West. 

/ .', , He spent the early days of September in Granville and 

'^ then set out on his journey to Salisbury. On the wav he 

%■ Ituation stopped a day cr two at Hillsboro. He was constantly re- 

• ceiving and answering appeals for military aid made l.'y 
';.- ' the distressed inhabitants of the Cape Fear section. But 
'^ insurmountable obstacles and difficulties met him on every 

side. There was pressing need for the continental drafts to 
be hurried to Greene's aid in South Carolina, and calls were 
made by General Steuben for both continentals and militia 
to assist him in X'irginia. (General Rutherford and Colonel 
Isaacs, who liad been convened as prisoners to Florida, had 
just returned from their continement : Davidson v^'as dead. 
Colonel Locke had marched a detachment to the southward. 
William Caswell in the east and General Butler at the we-t 
were the main reliance for active work. Butler early in 
September was gathering a force on the Haw and the Deep 
to hold in check the formidable bands of Tories that were 
scourging that region. Xext to Rutherford he was the 
most efficient ot the brigadiers. 

ciriL i^'.iR ox TUB c.irn pear 693 

Fanning defeats Wade ! 

(, )n 'lis rotuni from W'ilniington. with a fresh supply of 
auiniunition, Colonel Fanning- after passing Slingsby at continued to McFall's }^Iills, about sixty ^■^^j'^ 
liiiles distant. There he received information of the disaster ^=5- 5^+ 
to his friends at Elizabethtown, and he despatched ninety of 
his men back to render assistance : but it was too late, the 
Whigs had gathered their booty and had retired. He like- ' ' 
wise received information that Colonel Wade was marching 
to attack Colonel McXeii in the vicinity of Raft Swamp, and 
he set out to re-enforce that Loyalist partisan, whom he joined 
in the morning of September ist. 

He found that Wade had crossed the bridge to the eastern 
side of Drowning Creek, and had taken post on the highland 
near a mile distant from the bridge, the intervening road 
being a narrow cau-evvay. Fanning directed McXeil to 
turn down the swamp to cut off Wade's retreat in that direc- 
tion, and. confident of victory before midday, began the 
battle. At Wade's first fire eighteen h'->rses of Fanning's men '"''" ' 
were killed, but the Tories at once dismounted and made 
a assault, continuing to fire as they advanced; and 
when they approached to within twenty-five yards of Wade's 
line the Whigs broke and fied in the utmost confusion. Had 
McXeil obeyed directions closely Wade's force would have ' '^ 
been entirely destroyed : but he did not take the position 
assigned him, and the cause\vay and bridge were open for a 
safe retreat. Fanning pursueil some seven miles, and took 
fifty-four prisoners, four of whom died that night, wdiile 
nineteen of the Whigs lay dead on the ground. He states 
his own loss at only one killed and a few wounded. Having 
taken two hundred and fifty horses, he distributed them 
among those of his troops who were not mounted in the 
action. The prisoners were paroled, except thirty, who were 
sent to \\"ilmington ; and then Fanning returned to ^IcFall's 
Mills, where he was joined by the detachment he had sent 
ti:) Slingsby's assistance. The misfortune that befell Wade's 
force in this encounter had a dampening efir'ect on the ardor 
of the Whigs; but General P.utler. Colonel Balfour, Colonel 
Mebane, Colonel Collier and tb.eir associates redoubled their 



'781 efforts to restore cu:ifi<lcnco and bring the militia together 

"" to make heaJ against the aggressive LoyaUsts. 

The governor is captured 

While Fanning was at Wilmington toward the end of 
August, that bold ])artisan agreed with Craig that Gov- 
ernor Burke should be captured: and after defeating Wade, 
Fanning resolved to carry the design into execution. 
On September 9th he was joined by Colonel ]\IcDougal. of 
Cumberland, with two hundred men, and Hector McNeil 
with a detachment from Bladen, and more than four hun- 
dred others had responded to his call for the Loyalists to 
embody. He thus found himself at the head of several hun- 

s. R.. (^ired active partisans. .Marching directlv toward Coxe's -Mill 

as if to attack General Butler, who was m that vicuiity, he 
suddenly changed his route, pushed on during Septem- 
ber nth and all the following night, and reached Flillsboro 
in th.e earlv morning. His presence in that vicinity was not 
at all suspected. 

Governor Burke on September loth received information 

s R XVI °** ^^^ movement of Faiming toward Butler's camp, and 

12 */W. ' sent a warning to the general to be on his guard. Little did 
he suspect that the object of the enterprising partisan was 
nothing less than his own capture. On the night of the i ith 
no particular precautions were taken by the detachments at 

A.HiHsbnro Hillsboro. The little hamlet was rejoicing in the presence 
of his Excellency and those who attended him. and its sense 
of security was not at all disturbed by the movements of 
the enemy. Hillsboro was in a measure the seat of govern- 
ment, and there were stored some cannon, supplies and pro- 
visions, and it was the headquarters of the continentals at 
that time, a number of whom were congregated there pre- 
paring to march to the southward. Suddenly the next morn- 
ing, a io2:zy, disagreeable morning, it was rudely awakened 
from its peaceful repose. A clap of thunder from a clear 
sky would have been no greater surprise. At seven o clock 
on the morning of the 12th Fanning's Tories entered the 
town in three divisions. Several shots were fired from dif- 
ferent houses upon the invaders, but without indicting any 

Sept. 13,1781 


I 7— -■ 

I serious loss. "We killetl fifteen oi die rebels, said Pan- 'j^^ 

'i n'msr, "and wounded twentv, and toi,'k upward of two bun- 5.- R-. 

I ■ dred prisoners. Among tbem was tbe governor, bis counc.:, 

V a party of continental colonels, captains and subalterns, caid 

seventy-une continental soldiers taken out of a cburcb. We 

proceeded to tbe jail and released tbirtN' Loyalists and Eritisb 

soldiers, one of wboni was to bave been banged on day." 

He took tbe guns from tbe guard and put tbem in tbe 

hands of tbe prisoners, and turned tbe guard into the prison 

quarters. It was tbere that most of the Whigs were killed. 

Battle of Cane Creek 

Colonel Mel)ane made good bis escape during tbe 
melee, and hastened to advise General Butler. Seeking to 
intercept Fanning on bis rettirn. Butler took post at John 
Alston's mill, near Lindsay's, on Cane Creek. 

The Tory commander, having secured tbe object of bis 
expedition, hastened away with bis prisoners, thinking by 
celerity of movement to escape without molestation. By 
twelve o'clock be began bis march. That night he reached 
tbe ^•icinity of Cane Creek, and the next morning the march 
was resumed. His force was composed chiefly of two 
bodies, one, several hundred Scotchmen, under ^McXeil and 
McDougal ; the other, loyal inhabitants, not Scotch, under 
Fanning and militia ofiicers. Tbe Scotchmen were in the 
advance, while Fanning's Tories were in the rear with the 
prisoners. Butler bad posted bis men along tbe high banks 
on tbe south side of tb.e stream, where tbe road coming from c..rnt'ners 

'^ •lid North 

the ford skirted through a narrow piece of low ground. As -^^te- 1- 
. ' 2.J7-219 

McNeil advanced along this open roadway tbe Whigs from 

the brow of the hill delivered a deliberate fire v.-ith murder- ^; k . 
ous effect. Tbe Scotchmen, utterly surprised, at once re- 
coiled. Fanning hastened to send bis prisoners off under a 
detachment so as to secure them at all events, and tb.en 
crossed the stream higher up, and a desperate and bloody ^'^Jlif j 
conflict ensued. By Fanning's attack from an unexpected quar- 545 
ter the Whigs were thrown into momentary confusinn, but 
soc>n rallied, and nearly every W big killed in the actinn fell 
at this time. The entragement lasted four hours, resulting in 

690 ['URKF/S .iOMIXISTRATfOX, i;8!-S. 


t{:e retreat of the \\'hi,c:s. The loss of the Tories was tneiUv - 
September ^evcu killed, sixtv so badly wounded that they could, nr^t \,r 
moved, and thirty others wounded, who, however, c-m- 
tinued with the main body. The loss of the V.'iiirrs, while 
great, was not so heavy. Several of the higlir^t officers mi< 
both sides were killed. Among the slain were Colonel T.ut- 
terell and 3>Iajor John Xalls : while on the Tnrv side John 
Rains. Edward Edwards. Colonel Dushee Shaw, and Colrim! 
^^ ^^.^^^ Hector ^ilcXeil. the elder, fell dead on the field. At tlu: 
disabled very end of the battle Colonel Fanning received a wound in 
his arm that shattered the bone and disabled him. It i> 
related that Colonel Robert .Mebane signalized himself by a 
bold and deliberate act of courage in the hottest of the battle. 
K'.'^"^' ^^'^^ ammunition of the Whigs was about expended, and lie 
advanced along the line slowdy distributing powder and ball 
•; : to the men as neede'l, a target for every man in the Tor\ 

ranks. Fanning, being tmable to travel, was conveyed to .i 
secret place on Brush Creek, and for somie weeks was di>- 
s_R., XV, abled by his wounds. At his request. Colonel ^.IcDougal 
assumed command and hurried toward Wilmington, suc- 
cessfully delivering, on September 23d. the person of Gover- 
nor Burke to ^Vlajor Craig, who had advanced to Livingston 
Creek to receive his distinguished and valuable prisoner. 
^ ^ Fearing to be overtaken, the Tories made such haste that 

Batk-r although General Butler hotly pursued them even to the 

iwlr^" ^'icinity of Wihnington, it was without avail. However. 
Marsh he had a slight engagement at Ham.mond Creek, and he tlien 

Graham's took post at Browu ]^Iarsh, in Bladen Countv. There about 
365 October rst the British marching from Wilmington in the 

ight surprised attacking: his camp with some suc- 
Bi-c. Hist. . , • . . ,^' . .. ' . 


ofN. c!,\ cess; and he retired toward Campbellton. And now f<->r a 

^^ _ time the State was left without a head, but Colonel Al<:.\- 

acUn!;" audcr Martin, as speaker of the senate, qmckly assumetl ihc 

governor , g^jij ^^ government and began an energetic administration. 

Governor Burke was regarded as a political pris<_iner an 1 

not a prisoner of war. He was denied the right of exchange, 

and was held at Major Craig's suggestion as a hostage for 

the safety of Fanning, should that venturesome Tory fall 

into the hands of the Whigs. 


The battle of Eutaw Springs ''ll_ 

Greene had now received con>ideral)le re-enforcement from ScM-.t-mbcr 
North Carohna. T'nc continentals led by Colonel Ashe were 
fonned into the First Battalion: those brought by Major 
Armstrong: and General Sumner about the close of July be- 
came the Second Battalion; and toward the middle of 
August Major Blount arrived with such other continental 
drafts as had then been embodied and provided with arms. 
These became the Third Battalion. Tliey were all thrown 
mto a brigade comn:anded by General Sumner in person. 
There had also reached camp two battalions of North 
Carolin.a militia commanded by Colonel Malmedy. a French 
nobleman, trained to arms, who was appointed by the As- 
sembl} early in July for that purpose. Taking into account 
those North Carolinians who had enlisted with Cob:inel Will- 
iam Polk, of Mecklenburg, Colonel Wade Hampton, and 
Colonel Hill, and in other corps then with Greene, North 
Carolinians formed one-half of Greene's entire army. 

Strengthened by these accessions, Greene resolved to take 
the initiative and jnit an end to his enforced inactivity. At 
last, at the very time when Fanning was compassing his 
great stroke his enemies — the capture of the gover- 
nor, Greene brought on the battle of Eutaw Springs on Sep- 
tember 8th. As before, the militia was placed at the front; 
those from North Carolina, under Colonel Malmedy. The's 
second line was composed of continentals, the North Caro- 467 
linians now un^ier Sumner on the right. The British army 
v.'as drawn up in a single line. The militia advanced with 
alacrity, and tlie battle became warm. The fire ran from. 
fl.^nk to flank, the American line still advancing; but after a 
fierce contest the militia, having fired seventeen rounds, 
eventually gave wa}'. and Greene instantly ordered Sumner 
to fill the chasm. He came handsomely into action, and the 
battle grew hotter and hotter, the British being driven back's 
to their first position. The American line persevered and 463""^"^' 
advanced, and the fire became mutually d.estructive. v.hen 
General Greene, determining to strike a conclusive blow, y[^^^^'^ 
brought up his reserves, and all j^rcssing forward with a ired'^u, i, 
shout, the battle raged with redoubled fury. The conquer- 
ing Americans pressed the advantage they had gained, pur- 

6ijS. BURKE'S .lD.][[XiSTRJTI()X. j-Si-Sj 

IZ^ suing- the foe, and po>sessed themselves of the British camp, 

which was yielded withour a strusr.srle. The British line i^.ivt- 
way, and in the pursuit the Americans took tliree luuuired 
prisoners and two pieces of artillery. The British general, 
however, later restored his broken line and advanced; and 
the action was renewed, the battle terminating in the Briti-^h 
re-possessing their camp, taking two field pieces, the Ameri- 
The bloody cans in turn retreating. For three hours it was a tierce c^n- 
batiie |.g^j._ ^ygj-y oorps in each army bravely supporting each 

other. It was one of the bloodiest of the great conHicts in 
the course of the war. IVIore than one-fifth of the British and 
one-fourth of the American army were killed and woun(k'<'i. 
The British took sixty prisoners, while the Americans cap- 
tured about five hundred. Of the six commandants of con- 
tinental regiments, only ^^'illiams and Lee escaped unhurt. 

The gallantry of the North Carolinians 

W hen Sumner moved forward, the battalions of Ashe, 
Armstrong and Blount so promptly filled the gap with such 
admirable and soldierly precision that Greene in a burst <'t 
enthusiasm exclaimed : 'T was at a loss wdiich most to ad- 
mire, the gallantry of the officers or the good conduct of their 
men."' These men had just been raised as new drafts, and 
were in part the very militia who under adverse circum- 
stances had retired disortlerly at Guilforrl Court House, and 
had been enrolled by the Council Extraordinary into the 
continental service for one year on that account. Now they 
were drilled and disciplined, themselves had bayonets and 
had been taught how to use them. They had officers traincl 
and experienced, and they gave to the world an example oi 
courage and endurance that reflected the highest credit on 
American soldiery. The loss of North Carolina was particu- 
^r'edl'ir.Y ^^^h' heavy in that sanguinary battle. Of her continental.-, 
s'V'xv tl^i'C^ captains and one lieutenant were killed, and one cap- 
638 tain and five lieutenants were wounded. !\Iajor James Ruth- 

erford, son of General Griffith Rutherford, was killed, and 
Captains Goodwin, Goodman, Porterfield, and Lieutenants 
Dillon and Polk, and Ensign Lamb were killed. The militia 
as well as the continentals surt'ered severely both in killed 
arid wounded. 

Martin's Administration, 1781-83 

Rutherford marches to Wilmington.-Cornwallis surrenders.- ; 

Wilmington evacuated.— Rutherford disbands his army.— I-^annmg not 
s,.nnre<^ed.— Tlie Assemb'.v at Salem.— The Tones active.— Governor 
Alartin'^^ action.-The return of Burke.— He assume^ the administra- 
iion.-Fanning-s brutality.-Progress of events -Burke seeks a 
re-election.— Alexander Martin chosen.— New Ie2;islatioir— The Mora- 
vian^.— Depreciation of the currency.- The Continental Line -Indian 
hostilities reneued.-Les'.ie remains at Charleston.-The •l^^'Pl'-^^-'ble 
condition of the armv.— Charleston evacuated.— The number of troops 
furni-hed bv North Carolina.— The capture of Lord Montague.--! he 
condition in 17S3.— Governor Martin's address.— 1 he sovereign btate. 

Rutherford marches to Wilmington 

Aithouc^h the abduction of the head of the commonwealth n 

disorcranized the administration and threw matters of state 
into disorder, it did not entirely disarrange the plans Gov- 
ernor Burke had set on foot to subdue the Tories and expel Graham's 
the British from Wilminsn^n. In Augrust General Ruther- f'.^^-'hani, 
ford, havincr returned from his captivity in Florida, resumed 
command in his district. His zeal had not been quenched by 
his misfortunes, but rather the remembrance of the sutTer- 
iu'-s he ha.l enditred inspired him with a firmer resolution. 
Conformably to the .s^overnor's pro.s^ramme. he quickly called 
out a part of his briijade. and asked volunteers to meet him 
at Little River, in ^vlontgomery County, by September 15th. 
urrring as manv as possible to brinc^ their horses and act 
as cavalry. Governor Burke was on his way to Salisbury in 
connection with this movement when he was captured, and 
doubtless tliis startling, shocking event caused some delay 
in the assembling of Rutherford's troops. A fortnight was 
passed in organizing the companies and in training the cav- 
alrv. the command of the horsemen being assigned to 
Colonel Robert Smith, assisted by Major Joseph Graham 
and Captain Simmons and others wdio had served under 


•731 ]vIajor Davie in previous operations. Rutherford, intent on 

October victory, took every precaution to brini;^ his raw levies up to 

a state of efficiencv. On October ist he broke camp and 

Birc- Hi";!. • „ ,,,.:. 

N.C., Hi, tnoved b\' slow inarches toward Camp!)ellton, bcms^ joined 
^^ constantly by now accessions. At that time General Rutler. 

who had shortly ])efore suttered discomfiture at Brown 
^Nlarsh, had withdrawn from below and was in the vicinity 
of Cross Creek : and later he united his force with the new 
levies. On reach incr Rocktish on October 15th, Rutherford's 
cavalry had a sli.i^ht enj^agement with a detachnKMit of 
Tories, and from prisoners information was obtained that 
a body of six hundred Loyalists under Colonels Elrod. Ray. 
S-R-' McNeil, and iMcDout^al then lav in Raft Swamp. Fannin? 

was still m hidinc: on Brush Creek, m the Deep kuer sec- 
tion, his v.-oiuids not yet healed ; but he had so far regained 
his strength that somewhat earlier he despatched messengers 
to \\'ilmington for a supply of ammunition, which !\[ajor 
Craig sent him on October 13th, and he was preparing to 
take the field again The corps of Tories then at Raft 
Swamp was, however, a part of those who had been with 
him in the expedition for the capture of the governor and 
their leaders were wily and astute. In order to expel them 
from their stronghold, Rutherford arranged his men in a 
single line, five steps apart, and beat through the swamp, 
but without avail. The game had flown. The vigilant 
Tories made good their escape. 
Graham? Ruthcrford cucamped at Brown ]\Iarsh, some fifteen miles 

3*53 south of Eliza!)ethtown and thirty miles from Wilmington. 

as General Butler had done several weeks before. While 
there, Colonel .\lexander ]Martin, who had succeeded to the 
office of governor, visited the camp, remaining several days 
with the soldiers, and enthusing them by his presence. Gen- 
eral Rutherford now determined to divide his force, leaving 
on the south side of the river Colonel Robert Smith with the 
mounted infantry and dragoons, some three hundred in num- 
ber; while with the infantry he himself should invest Wil- 
mington on the north side. Carrying this plan into effect, 
on October 23d he crossed the Cape Fear at WaddtU's 
})lantation and proceeded into Xew Hanover. Colonel Smith 
at once drew near to Wilmington, had several brushes with 


parties of the eneriiy, and ffuind that some fifty of the regu- 'j':^ 

lars occupied a brick i',ouse about two miles from the town, November 
while a hundred Tories were encamped at ^vloore's planta- 
tion close b>-. He proceeded to attack the latter, and was so 
favored by fortune that twelve of them were killed outrio^ht 
and some thirt)' vvounded ; while on the part of the Whigs 
neither man nor horse was hurt. Finding the brick house* pL^^t^n 
well garrisoned, protected by abattis. and the doors and win- 
dows barricaded. Colonel Smith despaired of reducing it 
without heavy los-, and after a fruitless attack retired be- 
yond Livingston Creek. 

When Rutherford reached the bridge over the North- 
east River, ten miles north of Wilmington, he had a slight 
engagement with a British garrison e-^tablished there, easily 
driving them off. He established his camp on the adjacent 
sand-hills, near the river swamp, and cut off all ani:)roach 
to the town from the nortinvard. While investing Wilming- 
ton on the north and we-^t Rutherford received information 
that Craig v.-as ol^taining provisions by boats from. Lock- 
wood's Folly. t He therefore directed Major Graham to 
make an excursio-i to cu.t r>ft that source of supplies. ]\Iajor 
Graham having proceeded in that directir.n, encamped after 
a cold, rainy day at Seven Creeks, not far from the South 
Carolina line. During the night his detachment was aroused Cnham's 
by a full volley discharged into their camp by a band of 
Tories under }vIajor Gainey, a noted partisan of that section. 
The enemy, however, fired too high, and only one of the 
men was wounded. Quickly the "\\'higs turned out and a 
night encounter ensued, but the attacking party successfully 
escaped into the neighboring sw-amp. The loss to the Whigs 
was Lieutenant Clark killed and three others wounded. Of 
the Tories, only one was killed. 

On November 17th. while Rutherford was still hemming 

*The brick hoii=e was still in existence in 1857. its walls indented 
by balls, within sight of the town, on the rise of the hill ju.^t beyond 
Brunswick River, on the right of the Fayetteville road leading over 
Eagles Island from Wilmington (McRee's Iredell, I. 562). 

tLockwood's Folly, some ten miles we-t of Southport, was the 
scene of a settlement made by a man named Lockwood many years 
before the permanent settiement of the Cape Fear. But he incurred 
the enmity of the Indians, and the settlement had to be abandoned. 





'731 in the British garrison, Lie:ht Horse Harry Lee^ arrived in 

camp on his wav to General Greene. brin2:ing the j^reat news 
Oct. ,q,,7S. that on October iQth Cornwallis and his entire army had 
c;n,w.'"s°' surrendered at Yorktown ; and that General Wayne and a 
considerable number of troops were marchinEf to the south to 
aid in bringing the war to a close. With joy and gladness 
the news was proclaimed, and Rutherford drew up his army 
and peal after peal of musketry resounded through the 
neighboring country as he heralded the glad tidings in a 
"feu dc joie." On the same day came the information that 
Major Craig was evacuating \Vilmington. and Rutherford 
moved down to Shaw's, four miles from the town. The fol- 
lowing morning. November i8th, all the Briti.=h- troops 
boarded the ves^sels which were then falling down the river. 
While thev were }et in sight General Rutherford and a part 
Wilmington (^f ^js troops arrived and took possession. Thus swiftly fol- 
Nov."rx76. lowing Cornwallis's surrender, the last British soldier was 
expelled from the soil of North Carolina and the dominion 
of the enem.v was over. 
The It is impossible to describe the enthusiasm and happiness 

rejoicing ^^^^^ ^^^^^^^ diffuscd amoug the Whig inhabitants of the 
State. It is narrated that when tiie news that Cornwallis was 
taken was announced to the congress, an officer of that 
bodv fell dead with joy. Throughout the State there was a 
McRe^'s reason of great rejoicing. ' Even grave and reverend seignors 
56?'"'^' gave a loose rein to hilarity. "One reason why I did not 
com.e to Edenton last term, as I promised." wrote Judge 
Williams to Iredell, '"was that upon the cnnfirmation oi mo 
news of the capture of Cornwallis we were all so elated that 
the time elapsed in frolicking." In the Cape Fear region, 
where there had been such a protracted reign of terror, the 
exaltation of the Whigs must have been unbounded. 

*Ear]v in October General Greene, hoping tha: f'^er^Cornvvnlh-^ 
should have been taken Washington would despatch a lorce to m^ 
aid ^ent Colonel Lee to Virginia to represent the .situation ot artairs 
in South Carolina. Washington assented to the suggestion ajui pr- 
po.-^ed that the French admiral should convey a detachment i.n Kr 
Lafavette to the Cape Fear: but eventually the admiral t->'"j^' " 
inconvenient to delay his departure from the coast longer. ^']'^ '■'^' 
plan v.-as abandoned. General Wayne, however, marched some .r- yt»^ 
from Virginia to the south and operated m Georgia (.Lee s -vie...uM . 
p. 518). 


But the distresses of the people of Wilmington were not 'j^' 

quite over. Tiiey had grave complaints to make of the November 
spoliation of their property at the hands of Rutherford's 
militia, v.ho appear to have regarded that the town had heen 
captured and v/as subject to plunder. The depredations 
were inexcusable. When requested, however, guards were 
placed by the general to protect the homes of the inhabi- 
tants. Such salt as the British had left was seized, and that 
being insufficient to load all the wagons, an additional supply 
was taken from the storehouses of the mierchants, for that 
was a commodity of prime necessity, and was greatly 
needed at the west. When the army returned home, as it 
arrived at the place where a company was mustered out. the 
salt was distributed, one bushel to each man as his com- 
pensation, and it was of more real value than the auditor's 
certificates which they subsequently received for their ser- 
vices. General Rutherford, quiet being restored, marched 
his army to the interior, having first given orders to ]Major 
Graham to take all the dragoons and mounted infantry and 
effectually disperse such Tories as were still embodied along Graham's 
the South Carolina line. 374 

While the investment of Wilm.ineton was in progress, ^ . 
rannmg, navmg received a supply ot ammunition, toward newsoper^ 
the close' of October gathered around him a hundred Tories 
and renewed his operations on Deep River. The Whigs, 
however, soon embodied an(i marched against him. On their 
approach he gave them battle, at first driving them off, 
but on their returning to the attack he himself retreated, and 
m.ade good his escape. Fearing utter discomfiture if he 
maintained a large camp, he then separated his men into 
small parties, and these bands passed here and there through 
the \\'hig settlements, committing many depredations. 

The Assembly at Salem 

The Assembly had adjourned to meet at Salem in Novem- 
ber, and on the 8th of that month Colonel Martin, the act- 
ing governor, arrived, bringing with him two companies 
of soldiers. General Caswell and sixty-t!iree members of 
the legislature also appeared, but twenty-eight members of 
the house and ten members of the senate were absent. Two 



^^J weeks passed in !i>tless inaction. Then on the night of 

November Xovcmber 24th the alarming news was received that a lari^'c 
body of Tories was approaching with the purpose of seizing 
cieweU's ^^g persoH of Govcmor Martin. It was a cold Xovenihcr 
153 night, rain falling; and all night long the two companies 

were in anxious expectancy. 

However, nu attack was made ; but the peril and the hope- 
lessness of profiting by longer delay led to an adjournnK-nt. 
and on November 27th. without having transacted any busi- 
■ ness, the legislature adjourned to meet again on Jan- 
uary 25th. 
S- R-. Deep River was still the scene of great disturbance, for 

XXU, 211 ^ . . '- 

although Fannmg had certain intelligence of Craig's dejiar- 
suppressed turc. he and his lieutenants continued their depredations and 
murders, until at length on Decem.ber loth Colonel Elijah 
Isaacs, who had been taken at Camden and was Rutherford's 
companion at St. Augustine, "came down from the moun- 
tains" with a party of three hundred men and established his 
camp at Coxe's ^lill, in the settlement where the Tory bands 
had their headquarters. For some weeks he remained there, 
but although his presence had some effect, he was unable to 
entirely suppress the roving bands, whose appetite for blood 
and plunder seemed insatiable. Nor, notv/ithstanding the 
departure of Craig's regulars and the operations of General 
Rutherford, were the Tories of the Iwwer Cape Fear entirely 
subdued. In Bladen they still gave trouble. General Marion 
had made a truce v/ith Colonel Gainey, a South Carohna 
Tory, in June, 1781. establishing a large truce-ground ad- 
joining Anson and Bladen, in which the Tories could live in 
a state of neutrality, not to be interfered with, they undt-r- 
taking to commit no depredations. Toward the end of 
January many coming from Gainey's truce-land <lid much 
mischief in Bladen, and Colonel Robeson wrote to Governor 
Martin that the worst of the Bladen Tories continued to 
stand out and \vould not surrender, "and I am of the op'.ninn 
won't until tliey can be beaten or killed." Further, a'noul 
a hundred of these irrepressible sympathizers of the Briti.-n 
had gone over to the truce-land, and were a menace to that 
s. R.. part of North Carolina. Colonel Robeson urged that ilie 

State regiment should be stationed on Raft Swamp and 

XXII, 608 


Ashpole. CIS a means of repressing them, but that regiment 'J^z 

was not then fully organized, and was not sent. 

Governor Mai tin's action 

In order to hasten a restoration of normal conditions, 
Governor Martin, considering that an end (Xight to be put 
to all hostile operations now that there was no longer any 
British force to contend with, determined to enforce the civil 
law wdiile offering the olive branch of peace. 

He ordered that special terms of court should be held for 
the trial of the prisoners in jail, and such other criminals as 
might be captured : and on Christmas day he issued a 
proclamation pardoning all wdio had taken up arms against 
the State who shouM surrender before March lOth. on con- 
dition that they would enlist in the continental battalions for 
a term of twelve months; but such as had been guilty of 
murder, robbery or housebreaking were excepted from this 

Those inhabitants who had taken sides against their coun- 
try were regarded bv tlie administration as mere law- 
breakers and anienable to punishnient in the courts. On 
January 17th a session of the court was begun at Hillsboro. 17S2 
Four culprits were arraigned for high treason, and con- 
victed : one of them. Thomas Dark, had figured as a carAam xxii', gio 
in Fanning's band, and was as enterprising and nearly as 
dangerous as Fanning himself. From his cruelty to pris- 
oners, in cutting, hacking and wounding them, he had ac- 
quired among his followers the name of "young Tarleton." 
At that term of the court Colonel Alfred Moore conducted Tories tried 
the prosecutions on behalf of the State, and gained great clmicted 
reputation for legal acquirements. At Wilmington court 
others v.-ere tried and convicted ; and at the ]\Iarch term 
of Salisbury court Samuel Bryan, John Hampton, and 
Nicholas White were likewise founil guilty of high treason 
and condemned to deatii. These men were the leaders in 
the Torv movement in June. 17S0. escaping Rutherford and 
joining ]Major ^Mc Arthur with the Britisli dragoons at An- ^ ^ ,_^^j^ 
son Court House, then occupied as a British post. The 263,270 
judges in a statement made to the governor said that 
Bryan and Plampton were generally considered as very 


'J_l' honest men ; an<l it did not appear to the court that thfv 

had on their march through tlie State committed any unusual 
violence, there being no proof that they had been guiltv of 
any murder, or house-burning, or even plundering except for 
the use of the army. Governor Burke at once reprieved the 
prisoners until Alay loth, when the Asseinbly might deter- 
mine on the proper course to pursue with regard to them. 
or they might be exchanged ; and as some of the people about 
Salisbury were threatening violence against these prisoners, 
he directed Major Lewis, who was in command there, to be 
very attentive and prevent any interference with them. 

The return of Governor Burke 

Toward the close of October, Governor Burke, who had 
been held a close prisoner at Wilmington, was conveyed to 
Charleston, and was at iirst confined in a fort on Sullivan's 
Island ; but on November 6th he was paroled to James 
s. R., XVI. Island, then infested by desperate refugees, full of hatred 
178, 181 ' toward those who had expelled them from their homes. 
They had been accustomed to murder Whigs with.out com- 
punction, and Governor Burke was often threatened and 
considered himself every moment in danger of assassination. 
At length a party of revengeful Loyalists fired on a small 
group who were at the governor's quarters, killing one man 
on one side and wounding another standing on the other side 
of him. The next morning the governor wrote to General 
Leslie portra}ing the perils of his position and requesting 
a parole within the Amierican lines, or that he might be re- 
moved to a place of safety. General Leslie took no notice 
of this reasonable request. Finding that he was to be sacri- 
ficed to the rage of the exasperated Tories, whenever his 
assassination could be eflected, and that he was not held as 
a prisoner of war. Governor Burke determined that he was 
perfectly released from all obligations to remain on James 
Island. His situation involved mutual obligations to which 
E'il'^t. General Leslie seemed inditterent. Having resolved to es- 
Jan. 16,1782 cape, he succeeded in doing so on January i6th. He reacned 
General Greene's headquarters safely, and at once wr^tte 
to General Leslie asking to be exchanged, and saying that 
he would return on parole provided General Leslie would 


pledge himself to treat him not different!}- from the conti- ^-^ 

nental officers. General Leslie acceded to neither of these 
propositions. At the end of January the governor there- 
fore returned to North Carolina. 

On the day lixed for the meeting of the Asseml)!y, Gov- cieweirs 
ernor !\Iartin and a numher of members arrived at Salem; 15^"""^'*' 
but a quorum did not attend. Five days later, January 30th, 
while the members were still lingering in hope of additional 
arrivals, Governor Burke unexpectedly appeared on the 
scene. At the election in ]vlarch, Colonel ^Martin would 
cease to be the speaker of the senate and therefore it was 
argued he could not act as governor after that date. This 
consideration induced Governor Burke to assert his right to 
resume the administration: and the next day, January 31st, 
Colonel ^Martin delivered to him all the papers in his pos- 
session as governor, and gave him all the information possi- 
ble about public matters. As no quorum appeared, th.e As- 
sembly then adjourned. 

He resumes the administration 

Entering promptly on the administration. Governor Januao-3'st 
Burke immediately undertook to remedy the great derange- 
ment of public aft'airs, and applied himself to the v.'ork of 
establishing peace in the State and making the people secure 
in their homes. His attention was first given to the condi- 
tion of supplies and provisions for the army, and to the 
accounts of those in charge of public property. But he was 
not unmindful of the Tory bands. On February 5th he di- 
rected General Butler to send parties into the disaffected 
settlements, for Fanning was gaining strength and it was 
feared that he would seize Butler himself and other prin- 
cipal officers. To form the nucleus of an army Burke di- s r.. xvi, 
rected the state drafts to rendezvous immediately at Hillsboro. ^"^ 
Indeed he was now all energy and acted with spirit. Having 
ordered Glaubeck to meet him at Halifax, and Glaubeck not 
attending, he at once put him under arrest ; and similar ac- 
tion was taken as to others who were not prompt in observ- 
ing his directions. Calling his council together, it was <leter- m. 1^6. 5+-^ 
mined that the general plan the governor had in mind at the 
time of his capture should be now carried into effect, and a 



[708 BrRfCE'S .IDMiyiSTRJ.TiOX, i/Sj 

S. R.. XVI, 

Strong- anil emcieiu force sliould be niarcherl into the <li<- 
attecteci recri-'M an.' the Torie< (juiered (^r cxivllcd from t!;^ 
State. Alb! ina^nvjcb. as it un- t:i.-H;o-]n tlirit tlie rc^-u!> 
restricting- exp.-rtations had worked to the injury of th- 
State, he by proclamation q-ave pennission for the free and 
unlimited exportation of al! connnodities. and otherwise 
soug-ht to re-esraldidi commerce in its nvitural chaniu'ls. 
Some of tho-;e v.ho ha.l been convicted of treason bv tli- 
courts he allowed to be executed, but he pardoned otiier.-> ..n 
condition that they shordd serve twelve n;onths in the con- 
tinental service, ihey being- th.ereafter regarded as citizeii:, 
of the State. 

Alajor Eennet Crofton was the senior officer oi the state 
battalion authorized by the la.^t As-embly. among the 
officers of that battalion beiu:j: Captain George^ Farrairut. 
a native of :.[inorca.-^ Governor Burke did not tiiink 
Major Crofton equal to the comm.and of the expciliti'in 
^vhich he had in m.ind. and so selected ^lajor Ho^^ of ih.o 
seo-s'c'i- ' continentals for that duty. Major Crofton. however, refns-d 
to abdicate, and although the govern.jr placed hi:n under ar- 
rest, his disobedience of orders interfered so seri.n-.siv- v.ith 
the collection of the dirarts that the proposed e.xpcdilicn came 
to naught. 

Fannin g's brutality 

To the proclam^ation of Governor }v[artin otTering pan'on. 
Fannm.g made som.e oi)jections. and proposed other teriu..^. 
saying that if ids terms were not agreed on his sw-^rd 
would be continually unsheathed, as he was detcrm:i:ed h': 
would not leave one old ottender alive that had injured any 
of his Majesty's friends. The general conduct of thi.- re- 
lentless partisan at this time is v. ell illustrated by s.,.me ex- 
tracts frrjm h.i? diary: "We wounded two of them p.ioruid; 
and several -lightly. . . . The &Ay follou-ing we pur>':ed t::^:;i 
to Cumberland C-^unty. and on my way I burned Cu;)t;t!:i 
Coxe's house and liis father's. On m\ return to Li:t^. 
River, . . . fell in with one of Ca[;tain Golson's n:en wIvj had 
been very assiduous in as.^i.-ting tlte rebels. I killed him . . • 
And I went with a design of burning Captain G'-l- n'- 

•Afterward the father of .Admiral David Gla.-gow Far.-a^nic. 


house, which I du\, and also two others. lu my way I fell l^ 

in w'ith a man, . . . and on obscrvinir me that day he at- •:• ^■• 

^ -^ XXU, 213 


tempted to escape. l)iit I shot him." PendinL;' negotiations, 
however, Fannin^s;- remained more ([uiet ; and eventually in tioitswith 
February he and his officers made a proposition for a truce Feb., 1782 
to last at lea<t six mrjuths, and not to exceed twelve, similar 
in terms to the truce granted to Colonel Gainey in South 
Carolina by 2\Iarion the preceding June : the truce-land to 
be from Cumberland County twenty miles north and south, 
and thirty east and west, to be kept totally clear of light 
horse. Every man who had been in arms in behalf of the 
Briti-h Government was to have a right to withdraw him- 
self into that district, and to have free trade with any port, 
but not to carry arms. 

After making his proposition for a truce, for a time Fan- 
ning remained passive ; but having heard of the execution of 
some of his men under the sentence of the court, he could 
control himself no longer, and wrote to the governor: "I 
understand that you have hung three of my men, and have a 
captain and six men under sentence. If the efi'usion of blood 
is not stopped nnd the lives of these men saved, I will retal- 
iate, blood for blood, and tenfold for one ; and there shall 
never an officer or private of the rebel party escape that falls 
into my hand? hereafter, but they shall suffer the pain and 
punishment of instant death. If my request is not granted 
by ^Nlarch 8th. I shall fall upon the severest and most inhu- 
man terms im.aginable." March Sth came and his proposi- 
tion for a truce-ground had not been agreed to; and. more- 
over, he had heard that Colonel Balfi^ur. of Randolph f^.-.f",'"' 

' _ ^ killed. 

County, had said that there should be no "renting place for Mar. 10,1762 
a Tory's foot on the face of the earth." This excited his ire, 
and, accepting the challenge, he wreaked a fearful vengeance. 
Having equipic'i a partv. he set out for Balfour's plantation. 
IMargaret Balfour, the colonel's sister, has preserved an ac- 
count of that affair : "( )n March loth," she wrote, "about 
twenty-five arme<l ruffians came to the house with the inten- 
tion to kill my brother. Tibbie and I endeavored to prevent Bios Hhi._ 
them, but it was all in vain. The wretches cut and bruised 
us both a great deal, and dragged us from the dear man. 
Then before our eves the worthless, base, horrible Fan- 



ninj? shot a bullet into his head, which soon put a perio.l to 
the life of the best of men and most affectionate an(i .luti- 
ful husband, father, son and brother. The siqht was so 
shockin,? that it is impossible for tong-ue to express :ir.\- 
thing like our feelings; but the barbarians, not in the lea>i 
touched by our anguish, drove us out of the house, and ti <»k 
everything they could carry off, excei)t the negroes. v.!..> 
lmch^r\L l^appened to be all from home at the time." Fanning. ,U- 
tailing the adventures of that raid, writes in his diarv ; ••W,.- 
also wounded another of his men. We then proceeded tn 
their colonel's (Xollier), belonging to the said countv -.f 
Randolph. On our way we burned several rebels' houses 
and catched several prisoners. ... It was late before we gut 
to Collier's. He made his escape, having received three \r.\\\>. 
through his shirt. But I took care to destroy the wIk.Ic of 
his plantation. I then . . . came to one Captain John IJryan's. 
... I told him tliat if he would come out of the house, I 
would give him parole, which he refused. . . . With that I 
immediately ordered the house to be set on rire. . . . As so(jn 
as he saw the tiames increasing, lie called out to me. and 
desired me to spare his house for his wife's and children's 
;; sake, and he would walk out wdth his arms in his hands. 
I immediately answered him that if he walked out his liou:-e 
should be saved for his wife and children. When he came 
_. . out he said, "Here, damn you, here I am.' With that he re- 
ceived two balls through his body. He came out with his 
gun cocked and his sword at the same time. ... I proceeded 
on to one Major Dugin's house, and destroyed all his prop- 
erty, and all the rebel officers' property for a distance of 
forty miles." 

Such were some of the scenes of the barbarous warfare, 
waged even after the surrender of Cornwallis, in the Deep 
River region. 

Progress of events 

Ap?ii ^ "^^^' election occurred in March, and the Assembly con- 

vened at Hillsboro on April 13th. Conditions had greatly 
changed. The surrender of Cornwallis, the successes of 
Greene, and the departure of Craig, put a new aspect on the 
face of affairs. The end of the long struggle was now in 


sitrht. Inrleed, although then unknown in America, Parlia- ^ 

ment had declared for oeace. On February 27. 1782, it was P-^niament 
moved and earned in the British House of Commons that the king 
the war ought to cease. The king, however, was not of that 
mind. He was still eager to press hostilities notwithstand- 
ing the apparent hopelessness of victory, and his answer to 
the address of the House was so unsatisfactory that on 
March 4th that body solemnly resolved that "it would con- 
sider as enemies to the king and to the country all who 
should advise a further prosecution of the war." This lan- 
guage could not be misunderstood. Sullenly and reluctantly 
George HI yielded wdien he could contest no further. Lord 
Xorth resigned, the ministry was changed, and Rocking- 
ham came into power on the principles of a restoration of 
peace. Unhappily he soon died, but his policy had prevailed, 
and now it was only a matter of negotiation. His atti- ^a^^''"'^ 
tude toward the colonies struggling for independence had ^-orX" "^ 
been so humane and i:)ased on such high principles, that three Carolina 
years after his death Xorth Carolina erected a memorial in 
his honor by creating a new county and bestowing upon it 
his name. , 

But while it seemed that the victory had been won, North 
Carolina did not abate her cfTorts to maintain an army in the 
field so long as any British troops remained on the borders 
of the State. 

Indeed both General Washington and the Continental 
Congress apprehended from information received from Eu- 
rope that King George was seeking to form foreign alliances, 
and would again prosecute an active campaign ; and great 
pressure was made on the State to fill up her continental bat- ^ons'*"""" 
talions. Moreover, General Greene gave alarming intelli- 
gence that a force consisting of four vessels was preparing 
in Charleston to plunder and destroy the town of Beaufort, 
where there was a large quantity of public and private 
stores, and then perhaps intending to enter the sound and 
take New Bern and Edenton. Apprehensions of this in- 
vasion led to renewed activity: and Governor Burke ordered 
General Caswell and General Jones each to raise five hun- 
dred men and protect the coast. 

712 BTRKlS administration, 17S2 

ll"2 Besides, in Mravh the Tories to the southwartl .qrive si\l:!i^ 

Mar.ii of renewed Iiostilit}'. They eniljodied to the number of tivr 

s. K., wi. hnndreii, and were very bold. They threatened to march mi 
^'^ Wihnin^tcn. and it \vas sn}i|)osed that their purpose was tu 

plunder th.e inhabitants of tliat town. The \Viii;[^s quicklv 
embodied, and Colonel Kenan hastened with the Du[)!in 
militia to the aid of Colonel Robeson, and together they con- 
fronted the hostile malcontents. It developed, however, 
that the object of the Tories was merely to possess them- 
selves of some vessels in the river and make their esc;i]^e 
from the country. Defeated in their purpose, they retired t<j 
the truce-2:round in South Carolina, and this was the last of 
their formidable detnonstrations in that quarter. • 

Furtlier in tlie interior Famiing continued his operations, 
s.^R., XVI, ^j^^i ^^.^j; irrepressil^ile. Indeed his audacity was such a men- 
ace that Governor Durke deemed it necessary to have a party 
of both horse and foot at Hillsboro to secure the safety i>i 
the Assembly when it should meet. When tlie Assembly 
convened, it was therefore protected b\" a military force un- 
der the command of Major AlcCauley. Quietude reigned 
until April 30th. when a report gained credence that the fear- 
' till Fanning was ap])roachiing, and the members and the gov- 
ernor thought themselves in danger of being carried off into 
captivity. In the emergency the members took arms and 
^ . bravelv paraded: but happilv the alarm was without founda- 

departs, tiou, aud the session ot the Assemblv was not mterruptcfi by 

M.-iy, 1782 , ,^ . , ' ... 

any untov.-ard event, hannmgs proposition for a truce 
land was rejected by the Assembly, and in ]\Iay he deter- 
mined to abandon the contest and leave the State. He mar- 
ried a girl on Deep River, whose father had been u^^eful to 
him when in distress, and found a refuge in the truce land 
in South Carolina.* 
s. R., XVI, As the election for governor was coming on. Colonel Mar- 
^^* tin began to court popularity with great avidity. Burke had 

gained popular favor the preceding year by the stand he had 
taken against the excesses of forage masters and those im- 

*ln June thi> redoubtable partisan leader, whose boldness, enter- 
prise and rcsohition. had he been on the patri()t side, wonld h.iM- 
ranked him liigh in American annals, made his way to Charleston, 
and later he passed M.nie time in Florida, but eventually settled ni 
Nova Scotia, where he lived to a green old age. 


jiressing and seizing- provision? for the army; now Martin ^^J 

sought popularity by a severe attitude toward (Usaltected April 
persons. Governor Burke apparently desired a re-election. B"ri<e 
Major ^IcCauley was a friend of the governor's, and on rJ'eieaion 
Sunday morning, April 14th, he visited the different rooms 
occupied by the members of the Assembly, and gathered 
from their conversation their views about the approacliing 
election. He reported to the governor that wSamuel Johns- 
ton, William Sharpe. and Colonel Martin, as v.ell as him- ^ ^ 
self, were much talked of; but that he v/as supposed to be 59.< 
still under parole, and tiiat the way he had left Charleston 
was much del)ated. tlowever. he said : "Your friends are 
very steadfast, and widi a little of your assistance when a 
house is made I doubt not but to have success." 

But Burke saw that sentiment was against him. He Alexander 
ceased his efiforts to secure the election, and when the As- ^^h^sln 
sembly was organized, in an elaborate address he referred 
to his financial embarrassment and the necessity he was 
under of devoting his attention exclusively to his private 
affairs. However, doubtless with the hope of softening" the 
adverse opinion that prevailed because of his breach of his 
parole of honor, he laid before the Assembly all the corre- 
spondence relative to his Hight from Charleston. Although 
some steadfast friends still a-lhercd to him, lie was not a 
candidate for tlie office. Samuel Johnston, William Sharpe, 
and John \\'illianis were among those voted for, but Colonel 
Alexander Martin, who had so recently been the acting gov- 
ernor, won the ]-)rize. 

On being- elected governor, Colonel ^Martin on April 22d S- R-. xvi, 
made a spirited address to th.e Assembly, declaring that '"'^'"'^ 
"British pride, long supported by riches and power, late 
drunk v,-ith the idea of conquest of these states, with reluc- 
tance at last must bend to superior force." But he called 
on the Assembly to maintain the army, and be prepared for 
any emergency. He recom.mended mercy to those citizens 
v.-ho having been in revolt had surrendered themselves to 
the justice of the State ; and in particular he said : "The edu- 
cation of your youth demands your serious attention; savage 
manners are ever attendant on ignorance, which, without 
correction in time, v.-ill sap the foundation of civil govern- 






S R.. 

S. R.. 


inent. T!io>e states who want knowle'lge and wisdom in 
their council? have generally fallen a prey to their ui^cr 
neighbors, or require their guardianship. This will nt-vwr 
be our fate while those seminaries of learning now cst.ih 
lished be further supported by your authority, and othcr^ 
created when they are wanting." Although not the father 
of the university, he broke ground in favor of educatiot: 
before the echoes of the war had even subsided. 

New legislation 

The Assembly now proposed to carry into effect its pur- 
pose of establishing a permanent seat of government near 
the centre of the State, and resolved that thereafter the legis- 
lature should always hold its sessions at Hillsboro; but a 
year later tliis action was annulled. The palace at Xcw 
Bern was directed to be rei)aired. rented out. or sold. 

When the superior courts were established in 1777, ecjuitv 
jurisdiction was denied to the judges on the ground that all 
issues of fact should be tried by a jury. Session after ses- 
sion the lawyers combated this view and urged that the 
judges should have the powers of a chancellor, and now at 
the end of the war this change was mad^e, and the title of 
the courts became "Superior Courts of Law and Equity." 
A new judicial district was created, embracing Washington 
and Sullivan counties across the mountains, and Lincoln, 
Burke, and Wilkes on the eastern side : and while terms of 
court were to be held at Morganton. two sessions a year 
were directed to be held west of the mountains. 

Because of the impoverished condition of the people in 
the Wilmington district, who had suffered so much from the 
depredations of the Loxalists. those inhabitants of that sec- 
tion who should be excused by the county commissioners 
were exempt from the payment of taxes ; ami the residents of 
Bladen were required under penalty of fine to carry with 
them their arms and six rounds of ammunition whenever 
they attended courts or elections or any public meeting, for 
the Tories were not yet entirely subdued in that region. 

The Moravians had hecn fearful that their lau'ls uoiild be 
regarded as subject to the confiscation acts. In 177S ihey 
applied for some alteration in the form of the oath of 



allei^ianoe, anel that they mi.^jht on the payment^of the regu- 
lar tax be exempt from mihtary service. At first their re^- 
qiie^t was not favorably considered, and without some relief, 
under the orders of the court of Surry County, they would 
have been compelled to abandon their homes in sixty days 
should thev further delay takino- the prescribed oath. 
Mr. Hooper befriended them when all seemed dark in^the 
Assembly, and satisfactory legislation was obtained. Still 
doub.ts were entertained lest their lands were subject to the ^^^.,_ _^g^ 
confiscation act, and at this session all uncertamties were 
finally removed. 

The depreciation of the currency 

The public accounts being in great confusion, the office of 
Com.ptroller of Accounts was created, and Richard Caswell 
undertook its duties. The depreciation of currency was such 
that wdiile in December, 1778, the decline in value was only 
5 per cent., a year later it was 30 per cent. During the fol- 
lowing year it' went by leaps and bounds, until in December, 
1780. It' tell 200 per cent., and the next December its value 
had declined 72=. per cent. Xo greater depreciation than 
800 per cent, was, hov/ever, recognized by the Assembly. 
The value of a Spanish milled dollar was fixed at 8 shillings, 
making a shilling in North Carolina 1214 cts. A tax was s_.^R^^ 
laid by the Assembly of one penny on the pound of value 43s, 485 
of all property embracing land and negroes ; but two-thirds 
of this tax could be paid in commodities. Quakers and other 
non-combatants were, however, subjected, as they had been 
iluring the war, to a threefold taxation. Inasmuch as there May, 1782 
were many worthy citizens of the State still confined on 
prison ships and suft'ering the most cruel hardships, the 
legislature directed the governor to send Samuel Bryan and -j.^^-^^, 
others under sentence of death to be exchanged for militia exchanged 
officers of similar rank, and that he should cause a sufficient 
number of Tories to be sent on to General Greene's camp 
to be exchanged for the citizens held by the British,- send- 
ing also the wives and families of the Tories: and the gov- 
ernor was directe.l to continue to do this from time to time. 

And if General Leslie would not carry out in go'xl faith 

-\G M.IRTIX'S .IPM/XfSTR.lTinX. i-<Si-Ss 

1;^ this proposition, the treason laws of the State were to be 

rigidly enforced. 

XXIV 424 '^'^^ Assembly addressed itself to giving effect to its con- 
fiscation acts, and appointed commissioners to sell the pri»]-.- 
erty of those who had adhered to the enemies of the State. 
Provision, however, was made for unfortunate families, and 
where a wife or wid.ow or children of a Tory remained in 
the State, the count} courts were dirccte<l to set asi<le so 
much property, both real and personal, as would provide 
them adequate support. 

The Continental Line 

On IMarch 30th a board of officers of the Xorth Carolina 
line had held a meeting to arrange the continental officers of 
the State to command the four continental battalions wdiich 

'7S» had been provided fiir. Thomas Clark was assigned to com- 

mand the First Battalion : Colonel John Patten the Second : 
Lieutenant-Colonel Solby Harney the Third, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Archil ):dd Lytle th.e Fourth. There were ninety- 
six officers embraced in this arrangement. Some, Colonel 
James Armstrong, Colonel James Thackston, and Captain 
Francis Childs, were allowed to retire on half pay. The 
Assembly approved of this arrangement, and the officers 
took the command^ assigned them. 

\\'hile under the exchange many officers as well as men 
were returned to duty, yet as late as November Colonel 
(dark, ]\[aior Xelson. six captains and eight lieutenants of 
the Xorth Carolina line were still unexchanged, although 

x.xj'v '^^^ Assembly was not indifferent to the hardships endured 

419-422 by the soldiers, and took measures for their relief; while in 

order to manifest its appreciation of their patriotic service, 
it granted to every soldier who should continue in the ranks 
until the end of the war 640 acres of land, and to every 
officer a larger quantit}' according to his rank, a colonel re- 
ceiving 7200 acres; a brigadier, 12,000 acres, while to Gen- 
eral Greene w^as given 25.000 acres. Tlds land was set aside 
for the soldiers in the wiMs beyond tlie mountains, now in 

Th.1 Indians thc State of Tennessee. 

ITJsUiities il^e Indians had long been quiet, and General Greene 


<")n taking command of tlie Southern army had made a par- H^^ 

ticular treaty with them to preserve their iientraHty, but now, 
althouG^h. the British cause no longer wore a hopeful out- 
look, they were suddenly iniiamed to renew hostilities. They 
were active in Georgia and in South Carolina, and against 
the inhabitants of Washington Comity, where, under the di- 
icction of the legislature. lands intended for the soldiers were 
to be located. In July Martin Armstrong wrote : "The In- gj, ' 
dians are very troublesome in this side of our new county." 
Colonel Crawford with four hundred and eighty men was 
totally defeated by them, aided by the British Tories. 

A year later, in August. 1783, Governor Martin, under- 
standing that there were still some Cherokee prisoners held 
in Rutherford and Lincoln counties, directed General .Mc- 
Dowell to have them, given up to Colonel Joseph Martin, in 
command across the mountains, that he might send them to 
the Indian nation in exchange for the white prisoners the 
Indians held. 

Xor were the Tories pacified: even in October they made 
a demonstration in Bladen. When the judges issued war- 
rants against some rioters in that county they threatened to 
disturb the court, antl Governor ]\Iartin felt that the menace 
was so great as to reouire General Lillington to protect the 
court with his militia. 

After the battle of Eutaw, on September 8th, the British f'«"?'^> 

I Leslie 

commander. Colonel Stuart, took post at Plonk's Corner, and remains at 

. . . -, . Ch.^rleston 

Greene on the high hills ot the bantee. Lord Rawdon, having 1782 
previously sailed for Europe, General Leslie, then serving in 
Virginia, was appointed by Cornwallis to command in the 
Carolinas, and he soon made his headquarters at Charleston. 
.Although there vrere some slight contiicts, a period of inac- 
tivity set in betv»een th.e contending armies. Greene took 
post at Camp Round O, on the Edisto, about forty miles 
from Charleston, hemming the British in to the coast. In the 
spring of 1782 General Leslie proposed a cessation of hos- 
tilities, which, however, was not agreed to. Not supplied 
with provisions from abroad, Leslie was forced, in order to 
relieve the distress of his troops, to forage on the country as 
far as he could make incursi'"'ns, but his field of operations 
was so restricted that only an insufficient suiiply could be ob- 


!Z,lf tained. His troops su tiered severely, an'l so did those in 

the Whig' cvinip. 
deplorable Indecd. the condition of tiie army in South Carohna \va- 

condiiion nf dcplorablc. X'o clothins^ or provisions could be obtains-', 
from Viri2:inia or [Maryland, while South Carolina was lU- 
s. R., XVI. terly unable to supply their necessities. North Carolina w;i-' 
5^^. ^34. 645- jiigij. Qriiy resource. Colonel Dixon reported to General 
Sumner in February that "some of our ot^cers are so ban- 
of clothes that they cannot mount g-uard or keep company 
with decency." On May 15th Colonel Murfree wrote that 
the men were almost naked, and a great many were returne i 
not fit for duty for want of clothes. Officers felt compelled i 
to resign because they could get no pay and could not live. 
The legislature having taken steps to keep the ranks '",f 
the battalions filled, all during the year drafts were being 
collected and sent forward. General Greene had urgently 
requested^ that at least three thousand head of cattle should 
be sent to camp, together with some rum and salt, for the 
army was in great distress for the want of these neces- 
saries. And in August Governor ^Fartin wrote to General 
Bryan, the superintendent-commissary for the Xew Bern 
district, that General Greene is still in great distress for beef. 
"Must General Greene." said he, "retreat before a conquered 
and despairing enemy, abandon all his con(|uest. give up 
s. R., XVI, South Carolina for the want of food, and return to this 


State? . . . Rather than he should be compelled to this alter- 
native, which would disgrace the State to eternity, I would 
through all opposition drive to him everything in the shape 
of a cow or steer" to be found in Xorth Carolina. Truly, 
the situation of the army at that period was most distressing ; 
not merely were the troops ragged and without decent cloth- 
ing, but subsistence was scarce, and their deprivations exces- 
sive and heartrending. 

All during the summer the opposing forces in South 
Carolina watched each other, waiting for some development. 
At length, in August, General Leslie announced in general 
orders his intention of evacuating Charleston. To stop the 
further effusion of blood, he addressed General Greene, ask- 
ing permission to purchase from the country such supplies as 
mia:ht be furnished him until he should be reaiiv to sail. As 




desirable as this practical suspension of hostilities was for 'j^ 

the advantage of tiie nnkcd and destitute American soldiers. 

General Greene felt consrrai'ier' to refuse the accommodation. 

How deplorable was the situation of the army was portrayed 

by General Greene in a report: "For upward of two months 

more than one-third of our army was naked, with nothing 

but a breech-cloth about them, and never came out of their ciiariestun 

. evacuated 

tents. . . . Our condition was little better in the articles of 
provision." In Septem.bcr the preparations for evacuation 
were apparent: but autumn passed without action, and it was 
nut until December 14th that the British, having embarked. Dec. 14. 
took their departure. General Greene with his continentals '^^^ 
at once occupied the city, w^hich the next day was restored 
to the civil authorities. 

The number of troops furnished by North Carolina 

It is impossible to ascertain with entire accuracy the num- 
ber of Xorth Carolinians who were in the field during the 
war for independence. There were originally six battalions 
of contir.entals of 500 men each, and later the battalions of 
Colonel Hogun, of Williams, and Sheppard marched to the 
north, so that 4500 continentals might be computed for 
these. There was Wince's artillery company and Dickinson 
and Ashe's cavalry, and Phifer's cavalry, numbering abotit 
400. In the spring of 1779 there was a battalion of conti- 
nentals with Lincoln and in the fall General Sumner had a 
brigade of new continentals in South Carolina, altogether 
1500. All these disappeared on the surrender of Lincoln. 
Alajor Eaton's battalion in the early summer of 1781 num- 
bered about 400; Sumner's brigade at Eutaw Springs, rooo. 
The returns of this brigade in April, 1782, showed 1000 on 
the roll. The Assembly of -Vpril, 1782. directed that every 
thirtieth man in the State should be drafted for eighteen 
months to fill up this brigade, and these drafts were being 
sent forward in ?\Iay and later. They were calculated to 
raise 2000 men, and even in September selections from the 
militia were being made to complete these drafts, so that 
probably 1000 ncAv men became continentals after the 
summer of 1782. These figures aggregate 88(J0 continen- 
tals. On the reorganization, in 1781, the new battalions 

-20 }[ART[X'S .IDMfXfSTR.lTIOX. i~<SiSs 

1'2 were numbered the First. Second, Third, and Fourth, ihv 

former ones hriNiny^ l)een obliterated. 

There were ori<;-iii;dly 3000 six-months' minute nvn : "no 
militia marched in the "Snow campaig-n" ; 1500 with Ruther- 
ford against the Cherokees. Colonel Williams had 300 with 
the Virginia troops at the same tim.e. There were prob:il)ly 
3000 miiiiia besides minute men and continentals on the 
Cape Fear in the ^Moore's Creek campaign, and in Mav. 
when tlie British tieet was in the harbor; for it is stated 
that the uuml^er of troops in arms at that time was (;40 >. 
In the fall of 1776 General Allen Jones's brigade was in 
South Carolina, numbering, say. 600. General Rutlieriord 
carried 700 and Ashe 2000 to the aid of General Lincoln ; 
to take their place, Butler carried 700 to Lincoln in June. 
Early in 17S0 Lillington carried, say, 800 to Charleston, 
where Colonel Lytle already had a detachment of two regi- 
ments, numbering perh.aps 400. A thousand Xorth Carolina 
militia were surrendered bv Lincoln. General William Cas- 
well marched to the relief of Charleston with 800. At Cam- 
den, under Richard Caswell, there were 1600. In June 'General 
Kutherford had his brigade of, say, 800 and Davie, say. 200. 
The First Brigade commanded by Sumner, three regiments. 
800; Butler's brigade, assigned to Sumner, 800; Harrington, 
450; the Xorth Carolina detachments at King's .Mountain. 
1000 ; General Gregory, in defence of the Albemarle section. 
600; with Morgan at Cow{)ens, 300; Davidson's brigade, 
after his death commanded by Pickens. 700; Lillington. 
near Wilmington, 600: Eaton's brigade and Butler's, at Guil- 
ford Court House, 1600; Colonel Kenan, 400: General Cas- 
well. 150; (jcueral Lillington, in August, 600; Colonel Haw- 
kins's cavalr}-. 150; W'ade, Brown. Robeson, 800; Malmedy, 
at Eutaw Springs, 600; Rutherford. Butler, Smith, antl 
Graham, in (October, 1200; Colonel Isaacs, 300; State troop>. 
500; sailors and companies stationed at the forts on the 
coast, 600. These aggregate 27.800. Certainly there were 
many duplications; how many is a mere matter of conjec- 
ture. It is to be remembered that the inhabitants of tlie 
State were divided into militia companies, and these com- 
panies into five classes, and when a tlraft of militia was made 
for three months, the regular term, one of th.ese classes only 


was eiTibracetl in tlie ilraft. until all the five drafts, being ail 'j^'j 

the militia, had been called out into service, so that the error 
of duplication is largely minimized. Indeed, first and 
last it would seem that every man, not a Tory, in the 
State capable of bearinLT arm.s was at one tiiue or another 
called into active service, although for only one tour of duty. 
It has been computed that there were 22,000 different names 
on the muster rolls of the N'orth Carolina troops. Prob- 
ably that is a correct statement. Were there no duplica- 
tions the number would be 36,600. 

E.xcept in the territory where the Highlanders and the Regu- 
lators resided, and in Tryon County, there was but little dis- 
affection. In Bladen fifteen companies of the militia out of 
eighteen were inclined to the British : in Cumberland • and 
xAnson, at least one-half of the people were disaffected, and 
similarly in the Deep River country. Elsewhere the propor- 
tion was not near so great. 

On January 29. 1783, Captain Eve brought the ship Thecupture 
Diizccs, bound from Jamaica to New York, which was still Ih^n.-.^ue 
held by the British, into Wilmington. Lord Charles ^lon- ^^^ " ' ' 
tague. lieutenant-colonel of a British regiment. Captain ^lon- 
tague. and four or five other British officers had taken pas- 
sage for Xew York. When well at sea, Captain Eve in- 
formed these officers that they must consider themselves his 
prisoners, and he brought them into the Cape Fear and de- 
livered them to General Lillington. It was at once reported 
to Governor }klartin that the regiment raised for Lord 
Charles Montague was chiefly composed of captive conti- 
nentals taken at Charleston, who were compelled to enlist 
into the British service, under Montague's own direction, on 
the pain of severe penalties. For this conduct Governor 
Martin thought that Montague should suff'er some punish- 
ment. The other officers were paroled as prisoners, but al- 
lowed to go abroad, while his Lordship was paroled only to 
North Carolina. There was some delay in communicating 
these circumstances to General Greene, and before he was 
informed of Governor Martin's purpose to deal with his 
Lordship dift'erently from other prisoners, General Greene 
paroled him with permission to go to Xew York. On in- 
quiry General Greene found that Lord Charles did enlist 



Amencan snl.her. nUo the Driti.h service, but it was saul 
tl at ,t was by the vr,h,ntary act of the prisoners theniselve. 
I hepunishnient in contemphUion bv the \orth Carolina au- 
thorities was thus defeated, as the parole by General Greene 
could not be annulled. " 

The condition in 1783 

The eight years that had elapsed since the first provincial 

many changes. Harve)- had died while the colonists were 
just entermg on the struggle to maintain their ricjht. as Brit- 
ish subjects, and )-ear by year the leaders who had set in 
motion the ball of revolution mourned the loss of some of 
their number. James Aloore. Francis Xash. James Hogun 
Harnett Hev.-es. Buncombe. Davidson, John "Ashe. Gideon 
Lamb and many of their associates had perished without be- 
holding the glorious consummation of their patriotic desires 
and nnselhsh sacrifices. It is to be observed that among the 
Aorth Carolinians who had enrolled themselves under the 
banner ot the American cause there was not a sino-le deser- 
tion during the whole course of the conflict. The contest 
had been doubtful. It brought manv vicissitudes and much 
suffering. The state as well as the continental currency had 
ceased to have value. :^Iany families had been utterlV im- 
poverished. .Aliserv and desolation were diffused throu-h 
innumerable households. Civil war and carnage had ra-ed 
from Surry to Brunswick. Murder and pillage had stalked 
lirough a large section of the State, and families expelled 
trom their homes had sought asvlums in distant part< and 
were too impoverished to return. Manv mothers and 'chil- 
dren were bereft of their last support, their sacrifices in the 
cause ot independence being irreparable. In the desolated 
region of the Cape Fear even the wealthiest of the patriots 
u-ere ruined bv the ravages of the war. They had cheer- 
fully laid their all on the altar of their country. Hard had 
been the conflict, but in the darkest hours the brave hearts 
ot the Aorth Carolina patriots became still more courageous 
and m their adversity thev bore their sufferings with resolu- 
tion and fortitude. At length the stormlclouds passed 
away, the sky was no longer obscured, and hope gave 

. PEACE 7^3 

place to assurance. Tlio ardent longing became a joyful ]2^J 


On September 21, 17S2. Lord Slielburne being then at 
I the head of the administration, the King of Great Britain 
I acknowledged tlie independence of the American States, and 
i authorized^ Oswald, the British commissioner at Paris, to 
make a treaty of peace, which, however, was not to be opera- 
tive until agreed to by France also. On November 30. 1782. 
j preliminary articles v.ere drawn up requiring a cessation 752" 

I of hostilities, and on January 20th France gave her assent, 

f The war was over. Independence had been won. The long 

! and arduous struggle had closed, and everywhere, in the 

household of every patriot, there \vas great rejoicing. But 
in the bosoms of 'many there burned a strong resentment 
ai^ainst the detested Tories. 

At the next session of the Assembly Governor }*Iartin in 

S. R., XVI, 


y . v.»overnoi 

his opening address said : "W'lth uupatience i hasten to com- M^nms 

municate the most important intelligcTice that has yet ar- AprTii 

rived in the American Continent/' the acknowledgment by '^63 

Great Britain of the independence of the American Stares 

and the appointm.ent of commissioners to conclude a treaty 

of peace, which was signed on January 20th. He continued : p^^,.^,.^^^y 

"\othine nou- remains but to eniov the fruits of uninter- Treaty, 

'^ ' ' , • Jan. 20, 178^ 

rupted constitutional ireedom. the more sweet and precious 
as the tree was planted by \'irtue, raised by Toil and nur- 
tured by the Blood of Heroes. To you. gentlemen, the repre- 
sentatives of this free, sovereign, and independent State, be- s^J^ - ^^x, 
longs the task, that in sheathing the sword, you soften the 
horrors and repair those ravages which war has made, with 
a skilful hand, and thereby heal the wounds of your bleeding 
country." He recommended an act of pardon and oblivion, 
with some exceptions, and said: "Let the laws henceforth 
be our sovereign: when stamped with prudence and wis- 
dom, let them be riveted and held sacred next to those of 
Deitv. . . . Happy will be the people, and happy the ad- 
ministration when all concerned . . . contribute to this 
great end." 

Governor Martin's re-election was strenuously contested 
bA- Governor Richard Caswell, but without avail. ^Martin's 
majority being 17. There were those who never forgave 


M. I R riX'S . i DM IX IS TRA TIO .V. t^Si-Ss 






S. R., 



Sept., 1783 

Caswell for witlidrawin^; from the service of the Slate in 
lOurs all 
wieli! a irrcat 

the (lark hours alter the battle of Canulen, although he con- 

gratification of directing the affairs 

intluence, and later again enjoyed 
of the common- 

tinned to 



Although the last British soldier had departed from the 
southern stares, (jeneral Greene continued to hold the rem- 
nant of Ids army together at Charleston. The regiments, 
however, constantly grew smaller by the expirations of en- 
listments. By January 5, 1783, all the North Carolina 
battalions except one had been sent home on furlough : 
and finally on April 23d Greene was instructed to furlough 
his troops, and the last of the North Carolina. continentals, 
relieved from further service, returned to their homes. 

After much delay, in September, 1783. the Definitive 
Treaty of Peace was signed. By it Great Britain formally 
acknowledged the United States, naming North Carolina and 
each of her sister States separately and particularly, to be 
"free, sovereign, and independent States," and relinrjuished 
all claims to any right in them. And tluis North Carolina 
entered on her career as a separate, distinct, and sovereign 


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